In a short interview for IBNA news agency, the American analyst, Daniel Serwer, who is also a professor in the John Hopkins University, talks about the process of the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia and the strategy for the enlargement of the EU in relation to Kosovo, the influence of the US president Donald Trump in the region and recent tensions in the Balkan region
IBNA: How do you assess the process of normalizing talks between Kosovo and Serbia?
I think the results have been good. The process has also been good, as it has accustomed Pristina and Belgrade to talking directly with each other and treating each other as equals.
IBNA: How do you evaluate the EU Enlargement Strategy in relation to Kosovo?
The EU has been too slow with Kosovo, not so much on enlargement as on the preludes: Stabilization and Association Agreement, Schengen visas, etc.
IBNA: What will be the impact of the new US administration led by President Trump in the Balkan region?
I have little idea. The only hint was the President’s approval of Montenegro’s NATO accession. That was excellent.
IBNA: Can he latest tensions in the Balkans escalate into a conflict?
Potentially, but conflicts very different from the 3 and a half year war in Bosnia or the 78 day war in Kosovo. I’d say instability rather than conflict, but that has serious consequences too. It could not only hurt a lot of innocent people (remember March 2004 in Kosovo), but also set all the countries of the region back in their pursuit of NATO or EU membership.
IBNA: Can Skopje be isolated, if leaders there do not reach an agreement to solve the political crisis?
Macedonia is already isolated in a way and can’t progress in any good direction so long as its president fails to allow a government to take office that reflects the outcome of the election. I don’t think it is a good idea to continue the current stalemate. Bad things are bound to happen.