Central Europe Activ

Countries recognizing Kosovo todayThree EU and NATO member neighbors of Serbia – Croatia(an ally and prospective member of both organizations) , Hungary and Bulgaria – have recognized Kosovo today. The number of states that have recognized the new European state has risen to 33. The move of the three neighbors brought exceptionally high tension in Serbia. Serbia has recalled its Hungarian ambassador promptly.

A new plaque commemorating the location of the Sarajevo AssassinationThese three countries have fought at least one war with Serbia in the past 100 years. The first World War broke out when a Serbian terrorist has assassinated the Austro-Hungarian crown prince, and the former joint state of Austria, Hungary and Croatia gave an ultimatum to Serbia. The latest war between Croatia and Serbia was concluded in the Dayton Peace Treaty in 1995. Hungary and Austria were among the first states to recognize the independent Croatia and Slovenia after the break-up of Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia, and Hungarian-Serbian relations came to a low when it turned out that the Hungarian government has sold arms Croatia which was fighting a nasty war with Serbia. In the twentieth century, genocide was committed against Serbs, Croats and Hungarians in the last two or three generations. It seems that there is an unusual level of mistrust among these countries.

Serbia’s fourth EU member neighbor, Romania, did not recognize Kosovo, and it is likely that it will not do so for a longer while. The Romanian political elite fears that the approval of ethnic separation may give a precedent to the Hungarian ethnic minority in Romania. (Special minority rights are recognized by Hungary, Croatia and Kosovo for their Serbian minorities). However, I think this argument may go against Romania if an unresolved status of Kosovo will destabilize it, because it more likely to go under an endless ethnic partition instead of returning to Serbian sovereignity.

I think it is very important to realize that this is a real and deep, historically rooted conflict which is not unprecedented within the European Union. After all, the six founding members of our Community came together to end such a rivalry that had lasted for centuries. Such tensions were frozen, but not resolved during the Cold War when some parts of Central Europe and the Balkans were under Soviet domination and military occupation. Such ethnic conflicts, sometimes burdened with a low-level armed conflict are present in other regions of the Union: think about Northern Ireland, the Basque region of Spain, Belgium or the divided Cyprus.

The Balkan wars were fought on the boundaries of today’s EU fifteen years ago yet the could not be finished without American intervention, and these conflicts are not fully resolved yet. This is unacceptable in a region that is surrounded by the Union. I think the European Union should show two good examples. First of all, it should work out an unanimous positions towards Serbia and Kosovo, and offer a true and attractive partnership to Serbia. If such a partnership would be refused by the Serbian government, the EU should offer an attractive package to the Serbian people themselves, for instance, in the form of lifting travel restrictions. Secondly, it should put much more weight on resolving all such ethnic conflicts within the EU-territory. Seeing the results of the latest Cyprus elections probably we should start there. Otherwise the rest of the world will not take the European Union seriously.

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  1. Serbs just occupied Kosova during the rise of the Serbian nationalism early 20th century from Ottomans, who by then were loosing the Balkans after 500 years of occupation. The borders of Kosova are well established and recognized. Now Kosova should be Free! http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/62/094.html
    I can’t comprehend how a minority of 7% of the population, pretend to take off the land, the language, culture and the life of the rest of Kosova. Kosovars have the right to live free and independent in their land where they are born, generation after generation, live and will die.

  2. Well, the problem is exactly that there is an ethnic minority who identify themselves as Serbs and not Kosovars, and who also can tell that they and their ancestors were born in Kosovo, and they want to live and die there. It took centuries of pain, bloodshed and misery in Western Europe to have ethnically more or less homogeneous states. The whole idea of the European Union is that this should not go on, or should not evolve again. The Ottoman Empire has saved the inhabitants of this region from nationalism for centuries. It would be a wonderful thing if the Balkans could join in Europe in the 21st century and would not go through the painful nationalism of the 19th century and early 20th century in Europe. I think this is the meaning of a European prospect for both Serbia and Kosovo.

  3. It’s about time to recognize the historical right of Kosova (Dardania) to have its destiny fulfilled-That is full independence. Kosova never was a Serbian province. It was there, since the times of birth of European civilization, a very distinct Dardanian/llyrian identity. Always populated by Dardanias who, although under constant pressure of forcefully migration by Serbian shovinism, Tito’s Yugoslavia & Milloshevic’s Serbia, still make up 92% of the population. They speak ilirian language with the dialect GEGE. Serbs always have been a minority there. We know that Serbs appeared in Balkans (then llyria) only by the 6th Century AD, and they speak a language more similar to Ukrainian then Russian. They have always been a minority and ‘the story’ of Kosova being the Heartland of Serbia is just a pure Serbian nationalist fantasy. Facts Speak Louder Than Words and Serbian’s Lies Will Collapse by Themselves. Serbs always have been considered as oppressors there, not just by Albanian majority, but also by other ethnic groups too. http://www.gendercide.org/case_kosovo.html

  4. I think this is the kind of attitude that leads to a dead-end. The granfathers of Serbian and Albanian speaking people of Kosovo, and even the grandfathers of the grandfathers have always lived there. Nations and this kind of history-telling is a quite new idea, maybe goes back to two or three generations. What you say, bluerose799 is nationalism. What most Europeans have learned in the 20th centurty that Europe is so diverse and densely populated that nationalism will destroy our homes and wealth. There are at least two ethnic groups who claim Kosovo their home. I also think that it is highly irrelevant to go back in history for more than three generations because there is nobody who could verify claims and also the Earth is changing a lot. If you go down with this argument you might reach to a point when we should go to the zoo and let those species of the animal kingdom rule the Earth who elvoved earlier. I think that the vast majority of Europeans have accepted Kosovo as an independent country, but on the assumption that it is the home of two ethnic groups. Since it is not the Serbian speaking people who have the upper hand now I think it is your turn to be generous. This is how the EU started, too.

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