Madrid’s concerns regarding the EU integration of the Western Balkans will soon be in front of EU leaders.
The European Council will also consider a new enlargement strategy.
The remarks of Spain, which strongly opposes to any kind of indication of statehood in reference to Kosovo on its European path, are likely to shortly find themselves before the heads of state and government of the European Union, the daily Vecernje Novosti said it learned.
Leaders of European states could discuss them at the next informal gathering in Brussels scheduled for February 23, when a new enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans should also be put on the agenda of the European Council. This document, put together by the European Commission, has 12 pages and will be officially presented in Strasbourg on February 6.
Ahead of this, Spain sent several protest documents, where it practically insists that Kosovo can only join the EU as a region under special conditions, under a different calendar – but legally as part of Serbia.
On the other hand, the Financial Times published an article last week saying that the EU has a plan to receive “six states of the Western Balkans, including Kosovo.” This, and other articles about the European strategy for the Western Balkans, say that there will be no “shortcuts” and that countries will be allowed to join when they fulfill theirs tasks – and for Serbia this is certainly related to solving the issue of relations with Kosovo.
While in Belgrade they say that there will have to be agreement with Kosovo on a legally binding document – whose contents are still unknown, and which nobody wants to speculate about – Brussels will tomorrow officially present its plan according to which, as has been emphasized many times, Serbia could become a member of the EU by 2025.
In that sense, 2019 has been mentioned as the key year, because by the end of it the issue with Kosovo should finally be resolved. Now, however, because of Spain’s opposition to Kosovo’s EU integration, it remains to be seen whether the new EU Strategy for the Western Balkans will be adopted at the level of the EU.