Serbia, Kosovo Edge Closer to EU

from The Wall Street Journal..

June 25, 2013



The prospect of Serbia’s entrance into the European Union has precipitated a thaw between Serbia and its independent former province Kosovo, but the old tensions remain. WSJ’s Laurence Norman reports. Photo: Associated Press.

GJILAN, KOSOVO—On the main road winding through the wooded hills rolling out from Gjilan in eastern Kosovo, police and customs officials from Serbia and Kosovo work side-by-side at Europe’s newest international border.


This week could bring the biggest step yet toward healing one of the last open wounds from the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia: an invitation to Serbia to begin talks to join the European Union.

EU ministers on Tuesday recommended that negotiations begin by January. EU leaders are expected to sign off on it at their summit meeting Friday, rewarding Serbia for its steps toward reconciliation.

Most importantly, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dacic in April signed an EU-brokered deal that grants Kosovo’s Serbian communities significant political autonomy in exchange for recognizing that, even in Serb areas, it is the Kosovo government that holds ultimate authority…

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