Balkans Group organised a series of events aimed at promoting and supporting dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.
Within our platform, the Western Balkans Policy Forum, we organised the conference “Dialogue with Serbia: Lessons from the Past for the Future of the Process.” The conference brought Baroness Catherine Ashton and Ambassador Philip Reeker, the facilitators of the Dialogue in the early years, who drew lessons from the past and provided insights and features for the ongoing and the future of the dialogue. Speakers highlighted the importance of perceiving the dialogue as an ongoing initiative owned exclusively by Kosovo and Serbia, emphasizing the need for genuine leadership, unwavering determination, and a willingness to compromise to achieve significant goals. They pointed to the European Union, with its 27 member states, as a model for embracing compromise to achieve the best outcomes. They also reiterated that the dialogue’s consistent objective is to prepare Serbia and Kosovo for European Union membership.
Following the conference, Baroness Ashton had the opportunity to promote her book, “And Then What? Within the Stories of 21st Century Diplomacy.” As the EU’s first High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security from 2009 to 2014, Baroness Ashton navigated the complexities of international diplomacy, providing valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of the 21st-century diplomatic landscape.
Balkans Group also hosted a lunch with the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, former EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Baroness Catherine Ashton, Ambassador Philip Reeker, Ambassadors of Quint countries, and the Representative of the European Union. They engaged in discussions about the progress and recent developments in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue process, emphasising the pressing need for its successful conclusion as a crucial contribution to long-term peace and stability in the region.
Balkans Groups also organised a reunion of former Kosovo negotiators with Ambassador Reeker.
During her visit to Prishtina, Baroness Ashton also had a meeting with Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Albin Kurti.
Deputy Mayor Donjeta Sahatçiu welcomed and accompanied Baroness Ashton for Prishtina city tour.
As Naim Rashiti, Executive Director highlighted, Balkans Group continues to do comprehensive work in support of the dialogue process and the crucial task of ensuring its effective implementation. This is achieved through extensive policy analysis and by engaging experts, all with the ultimate goal of benefiting the people and advancing the dialogue process. Despite a decade passing since the initiation of the dialogue, bilateral agreements between the two countries have not shown significant improvement.
The events and activities supporting the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia are funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.