Miroslav Lajčák appointed as EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and regional issues

Miroslav Lajčak; Photo: Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia

BRUSSELS – Council of the EU has appointed Miroslav Lajčák as EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other regional issues in the Western Balkans.

As stated, the task of the new EU Special Representative will be to achieve a comprehensive normalisation of the relations between Serbia and Kosovo, improve good neighborly relations and reconciliation between partners in the Western Balkans, helping them overcome the legacy of the past, and contribute to the consistency and effectiveness of EU action in the Western Balkans.

Lajčák will immediately take up this post with an initial term of one year.

EU High representative Josep Borrell proposed Lajčák as a future representative to EU Member States earlier this year. He will primarily deal with the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, as well as other issues in the region, on behalf of the EU.

Speculation about the EU Special Envoy began after the US appointed Matthew Palmer and Richard Grenell as Special Representatives for the Western Balkans, i.e. the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

Earlier appointment was not possible because he was the head of Slovak diplomacy. Lajčák ended his term as parliamentary elections were held in the country on February 29, which opened the door for him to take on other responsibilities.

Lajčák is a professional diplomat who has served as Foreign Minister of Slovakia from 2012 to 2020 and from 2009 to 2010. He also served as President of the United Nations General Assembly from 2017 to 2018.

When it comes to Lajčák‘s experience in the region, he was Slovakia’s ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro, after which he was appointed a European envoy for the referendum on Montenegrin independence and at the end he held the post of High International Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.