European Western Balkans

European Council conclusions on Kosovo and Serbia: Failure to de-escalate will have consequences

European Council meeting, 26 October 2023; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – The President and Prime Ministers of the European Union adopted joint conclusions at last Friday’s meeting of the European Council, which strongly condemned the September attack in Banjska. The conclusions called for de-escalation, warning that failure to do so “will have consequences”. They also called on Kosovo and Serbia to implement agreements reached within the EU-mediated Dialogue.

“The European Council is deeply concerned about the security situation in the north of Kosovo. It strongly condemns the violent attack against Kosovo Police on 24 September 2023. The European Union expects the perpetrators to be apprehended and swiftly brought to justice and Serbia to fully cooperate and take all the necessary steps in this regard”, read the conclusions published on 27 October.

The EU leaders stated that Kosovo and Serbia must pursue sustained de-escalation efforts, as well as ensure the holding of new elections in the north of Kosovo as soon as possible, with the active participation of Kosovo Serbs.

“Failure to de-escalate the tensions will have consequences”, the conclusions read.

The European Council expressed regret about the lack of implementation by both Parties of the Agreement on the path to normalisation and its Implementation Annex as well as other agreements reached in the EU-facilitated dialogue. It called on Kosovo and Serbia to implement them, without delay or preconditions.

“This includes the establishment of the Association/Community of Serb Majority Municipalities. Normalisation of relations is an essential condition on the European path of both Parties and both risk losing important opportunities in the absence of progress”, the conclusions read.

Another point in the European Council’s conclusions states that the European Union will continue to work closely with the Western Balkans and support their reform efforts on their European paths.

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