The Conflict between Serbia and Kosovo: Change through Rapprochement?

Wulf-W. Lapins


The aim of this study is to make a contribution on the relationships of normalisation between Serbia and Kosovo-Albania, without restrictions on legal, moral or purely real-political considerations which would certainly possible in this matter. The author is aware of the fact that the status of cooperation has not been developed and consolidated so far for presenting a perfected critical assessment. For this reason, this political analysis only goes over the permanent political regulating process on the given empirical basis. Only if the historical background and context of how the world was yesterday, one will be able to understand the world as it is today. In a systematic cross-section this article deals with different areas of investigation which are relevant for the following key problem: Has the alignment of points of view and positions favoured the resolution of the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo and thus preluded a “change by convergence”, a political paradigm shift? This question is highly relevant for establishing a culture of stability on the West Balkans and also for the European order of security and peace. The political approach of the German East and détente policy serves Brussels’s diplomacy - mediator between Serbia and Kosovo - as a historical blueprint for settling the ethno-territorial conflict between Serbia and Kosovo. In the same way the Cold War was finally ended by conflict mitigation. In 2010 already - two years before the negotiations between Serbian and Kosovarian top-level politicians started - the German-German model as a reference example for a future Serbian-Kosovarian co-existence was discussed in scientific and diplomatic cycles. Kosovo not only strives for entering the EU, but also for a membership in NATO. Serbia, on the other hand, does not want to pursue its joining the alliance yet, for domestic political reasons and foreign political consideration for Russia. Whatever the decisions in Pristina, Belgrade and Brussels will be in this matter, they will have a security-political dimension for Europe as well as for its relationship with Russia. Here, the European statesmanship will have to generate that long-term formation of common security in the West Balkans, in the framework of an aligning, collective and short-paced policy. As early as in the course of the process of approaching the EU already, and not only in its reference framework, the political achievement of Serbia and Kosovo will be to develop a common understanding for their roles in correlation with each other.