Vice-Chair of Delegation on BiH and Kosovo Željana Zovko at Prague Summit on Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue
Prague, 14 July 2021
Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of the Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, Željana Zovko said that the future of the Western Balkans depends on a deal between Serbia and Kosovo and so does the peace and stability of the European Union. Zovko spoke at the Prague European Summit in a panel on the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue. The speakers focused on the restarted talks between the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia under European leadership and the possible ways forward that could lead to European accession.
“This is a two-sided story and we need to see a real dialogue, talks between each other and with the European Union,” Zovko said and added that for Kosovo, the only way to the United Nations and to the European Union is via Serbia’s recognition of its independence. Zovko also referred to the latest report of the International Crisis Group on the Dialogue and said that the solutions offered in this report, based on the examples of South Tyrol and related to the association of municipalities, are worth being added to the discussion.
According to Zovko, the European Union needs to invest more in the Western Balkans. “Our communication has to change and the reality has to be understood. For the European Union, the Western Balkans is also an issue of security. As we see in our neighbourhood, it is unclear when frozen conflicts will open up again,” she stated.
Zovko also referred to the Conference of the Future of Europe and said that after the crisis, the international scene will change. “We need to convince others that the EU is worth voting for and worth working on,” she stated. “If the people decide to abolish the idea of identities in the Western Balkans and impose a majoritarian rule, key agreements such as the Ohrid agreement can be put in question. Or will the future of this region depend on the same principles as used in the EU of living together with a balance of different identities?” Zovko said.
Earlier at the Prague Summit, Zovko also participated in a roundtable focussing on the future of the EU Enlargement amidst Global Crisis. The Prague European Summit is an annual event with participation of public officials, civil society and business representatives discussing possible solutions to the challenges of the European Union.