Open letter to Members of the European Council


Tirana, December 26th 2022

Open letter to Members of the European Council

For the attention of: Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The Council of Albanian Ambassadors is following with great concern the situation in the north of Kosovo, escalating with Kosovo Serbs withdrawing from Kosovo institutions, erected barricades and resort to violence from criminal gangs carrying forward a political agenda of destabilization, backed by Serbia’s President Alexander Vucic.

These moments require lucidity of judgement and determination of action from NATO, EU and US, well ahead of a conflict break-out with uncontrollable repercussions.

It is worth recalling that Kosovo was the last country of the region to suffer from genocide and ethnic cleansing from Miloshevic’s regime, which led to NATO’s military intervention. Since then, a number of peace negotiations ended with Kosovo’s unilateral endorsement of the international proposals, including the Ahtisaary package, whose principles are enshrined in Kosovo’s constitution and governance.

Kosovo’s independence was both a sui generis case and a success story of a shared investment of its people and the unwavering Trans-Atlantic and European political resolve. Kosovo is now a frontrunner of democracy, rule of law and human rights defender, leaving behind any of the other 5 countries of the region. International reports rank EU-aligned Kosovo in the lead with substantial progress in all performance indicators.

The EU-facilitated dialogue launched in 2011 aimed at normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo was able to generate important agreements, with the Brussels 2013 Agreement being the most comprehensive one. EU leverage proved to be strong and effective, serving to an era of peace, stability and cooperation between the two countries as well as in the region at large.

Regrettably those moments of optimism and commitment are bygone, once EU’s approach in the region reverted to contradicting policies, notwithstanding their incompatibility with European project and its values.

So much so, that some European leaders did not refrain even from unilaterally undermining the very founding principle of the European Union by endorsing territorial exchange scenarios, opening the Pandora’s box of the mono-ethnic appetites in the region.

It is unfortunate that some European leaders have sleepwalked at President Vucic’s nostalgia of Miloshevic’s policies, echoing in more than a 2018 provocative speech or glorification of convicted war criminals. Meanwhile, Serbia has continued to strengthen its ties to Russia, employing the same conflict-inciting propaganda, advanced with heavy weaponry imports, joint military drills, bilateral agreements of foreign policy alignment, and refusing to implement sanctions, against all EU expectations and policy. President Vucic went as far as to call for sending 1000 Serbian troops into Kosovo, openly challenging not only Kosovo but also European and Trans-Atlantic allies.

While the EU has been aptly alert of probable spill-over effects of Russia’s aggression against sovereign and democratic Ukraine, it inexcusably continues its appeasement policy vis-à-vis Russia’s proxies in the Western Balkan region, as if nothing has changed since February of this year.

The Council of Albanian Ambassadors strongly believes it is high time the EU recognizes reality as it is, with Kosovo being genuinely anchored in its European path, committed towards peace, stability and prosperity, unlike Serbia which has chosen to wear Russia’s hat, engaged, but not limited to, waging a hybrid war against Kosovo, its legitimate democratic institutions and territorial integrity.

Opting for over-pressuring Kosovo instead drawing a red line to Russian-sponsored destabilizing scenarios, suggests the worst possible message at the expense of jeopardizing the visionary political investment of Western allies not only in Kosovo, but also in the region.

CAA believes that the dialogue mechanism remains the best option for both Kosovo and Serbia to finally and resolutely start a new chapter in their bilateral relations. In this context, the Council calls on the EU to engage resolutely and without delay in countering Serbia’s destabilizing efforts, and to lead the negotiations remaining faithful to European principles and values. We call as well as on both countries, Serbia and Kosovo to honor hitherto agreed commitments in good faith, in a spirit of good neighborly relations, and the European perspective of our region.

EU accession remains the best peace and prosperity blueprint for our region, and the Council of Albanian Ambassadors remains hopeful that each of the 6 countries will join the European family based on the merits of their individual processes, free from any other third-party influence undermining this strategic project.

Council of Albanian Ambassadors