Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

The EU foreign ministers agreed on Kosovo

Adelina Marini, March 30, 2007

The foreign ministers of the EU ended the first day of the informal meeting in the German town of Bremen with a common position on Kosovo. The 27 have backed the plan of the UN special representative for Kosovo Marti Ahtisaari because the peace and stability of the Balkans is a top priority of the EU. The foreign ministers also issued a strong warning to Iran immediately and unconditionally to release the 15 Britons who are citizens of the EU and should be treated likewise.

Only when a solution on Kosovo is reached, then there will be peace and stability in the Balkans". This is what the German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, whose country is now presiding the EU. He added that a possible new UN Security Council resolution will serve as a framework of a further stabilisation of the region, thus giving the EU the chance to state clearly that it wants to have a leading role in this process. Regarding Serbia,. Mr. Steinmeier said that Europe has stretched its hand for weeks and is ready to work with the future Serbian government which has tough moments ahead. That is why it is necessary the issue of Kosovo to be solved as quickly as possible so as to give Serbia the opportunity to start the process of a fully fledged Eu membership.

It was also agreed at today's meeting the exchange between the EU and Serbia to increase, which includes the opportunities of young Serbians to visit the EU, to increase the exchange of students and even pupils. But in the same time, the foreign ministers have pointed out that this should not cancel the engagement Belgrade took to cooperate with the International tribunal in the Hague.

And regarding Iran, the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana issued a strong warning against the Iranian authorities to immediately release and unconditionally the 15 Britons. He said that every attempt of Iran to define this issue as a bilateral with Britain would mean that Iran perceived the EU as a trade union and not a political one. The Britons are also EU citizens and in moments like this the EU demonstrates a common position. The foreign ministers have assigned Mr. Solana with the task to continue the negotiations with the Iranian authorities about the release of the British prisoners.

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