Reka: The Brussels experiment in dialogue changed with American involvement, Kosovo is equal

The former Minister of European Integration, Blerim Reka, has said that the two-day meetings of the EU's special representative for dialogue, Miroslav Lajçak, and the US Deputy Assistant Secretary, Matthee Palmer, in Kosovo have an extraordinary diplomatic message for Kosovo. He called these visits a restart for a different format from the dialogue so far.

Reka has said that these two representatives conveyed what Kosovo has lacked for several years during the dialogue process - equal treatment of the negotiating parties.

"For the first time, two special delegates for the dialogue, one from the USA and one from the EU, are coming to Pristina to convey what was missing for 10 years now in the experimental dialogue of Brussels that experimented with the asymmetric negotiation approach, treating the two sides unevenly and experimenting with the so-called neutrality towards the status of Kosovo. The EU from 2011 to 2018, even though it emphasized that it would be a neutral mediator in the dialogue, it became neutral towards one side", he said in the Time Desk.

He said that the EU has not treated Kosovo as an equal party and supported this in the use of the footnote when referring to the Republic of Kosovo.

He added that the unequal treatment at the table will be changed now with the involvement of American diplomacy.

"I consider that this not good, asymmetric experimentation, of unequal treatment of the two negotiating parties, will be changed with more active involvement of American diplomacy. It can be said that from the beginning of the dialogue the Obama administration was not at all interested in the dialogue, delegating it to the EU. The Trump administration was locked in only at the end of the term. Only these 4 months of the Biden administration provide evidence that he will use two approaches different from those two, he will turn the Euro-Atlantic axis", said Reka.

The professor of International Law expressed pessimism that the dialogue could end with a final agreement this year. He sees the conclusion of this process as longer.

"I think it will be a difficult dialogue, a little longer, and I don't believe it will end this year. We could expect a finalization sometime in the middle of 2022. I say this because Kosovo ends the election year in the fall, in France next year there are presidential elections and I don't know how much it will be able to influence the speeding up of the dialogue. In the fall, we will have elections in Germany and one of the biggest advocates of dialogue, Merkel, will withdraw. In the spring of next year, there will be elections in Serbia where Vuçiqi will try to win another mandate. If we look at all these developments, we will see that the only constant is the American one. "The only unchallenged and unendangered leader is President Biden, who will no longer calculate and, especially in the second year of his mandate, will dedicate himself more to foreign policy," he explained.

All these actors, said Reka, will be careful how they will act in the dialogue because of the election processes in their countries. He also called the next year problematic to conclude the dialogue.

"The second part of the year is the most problematic, because from July 2022 the presidency is taken by the Czech Republic, which as a country has recognized us but has a problematic president who made the scandal by apologizing for NATO's intervention in Kosovo. The circumstances and the general geopolitical context abroad and the political context in Kosovo and the regional one have changed radically since September 4, 2020 or from Washington's unilateral commitments", concluded Reka.