Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Enver Hoxhaj: New EU Leadership Should Have a More Dynamic Agenda for the Western Balkans

Adelina Marini, July 12, 2014

The new leaders of the EU in the next term should have a more dynamic and more practical agenda toward the Balkans and build a culture of hope, said in an interview with this website Kosovo's Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj. According to him, if the European foreign policy had any specific success in the past four years this was the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue. This dialogue is not a process that should be viewed only in the context of relations between Serbia and Kosovo because it has a regional dimension. When we decided to enter into dialogue with Belgrade, we did it not only for Kosovo but also for the name issue between Athens and Skopje and the ethnic problems between the individual entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the minister added. That is why the new EU high representative for foreign policy should continue the dialogue even more taking into account that the EU is shrinking in terms of global influence.

New dynamics should be injected into the foreign policy by the EU becoming more present, by using various platforms and by starting to define the agenda. Enver Hoxhaj recalled that there still is a lot of work to be done in the region and in terms of Kosovo in particular. Kosovo is the only state from the region for which the visa-free regime still does not apply. Visas have been abolished even for Moldova, he said. Kosovo is ready in the next 4-5 years to implement its five steps action plan, but expects a complete dismantling of all parallel institutions of the Serbian state on Kosovo territory, full integration of the Serb-Kosovo community in Northern Kosovo in the Kosovo state institutions. According to him, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania can and should do more for the region. The biggest threat for the region is status quo, he concluded.

You can watch the entire interview with Enver Hoxhaj in the attached video file.

Western Balkans
Bakir Izetbegovic, Andrej Plenkovic | © Council of the EUBakir Izetbegovic, Andrej Plenkovic | © Council of the EU
In Sofia, EU Closed the Door to Enlargement but Left Money and Instructions
Aleksandar Vucic, Recep Tayyip Erdogan | © Serbian PresidencyAleksandar Vucic, Recep Tayyip Erdogan | © Serbian Presidency
Serbia between the Past and the Present in Its Draft National Security Strategy
Jean-Claude Juncker, Zoran Zaev | © European CommissionJean-Claude Juncker, Zoran Zaev | © European Commission
Juncker's Tour of the Western Balkans - Breaking the Ice