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The EU as a Mediator in the Kosovo–Serbia Conflict

  • Julian BergmannEmail author
Chapter
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Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)

Abstract

The EU has been mediating the Belgrade–Pristina dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia since 2011. This chapter argues that the EU’s effectiveness, both in terms of conflict settlement and goal-attainment, does not exceed a medium degree. Although the EU has managed to broker major settlements of various issues and has been successful in committing the parties to the mediation process, unresolved issues related to the governance of northern Kosovo have prevented it from achieving a higher degree of effectiveness. The EU’s mediation strategy in terms of providing incentives is a key factor in explaining the EU’s ability to achieve a partial settlement of several conflict issues and the partial achievement of its mediation goals. The EU’s strategy of using European integration as a key incentive for compromises has strongly resonated with conflict parties’ domestic priorities, but it has not fundamentally changed their reservation points and thus their willingness to compromise. The diverging interpretations of various agreements and the lack of their implementation have prevented a higher degree of EU mediation effectiveness. Moreover, increasing spoiler behavior has slowed down the pace of progress in the mediation since 2015, which demonstrates also that the bilateral relations between Kosovo and Serbia have not significantly improved.

Keywords

Belgrade–Pristina dialogue Brussels Agreement Kosovo Serbia EU mediation 

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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)BonnGermany

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