“Beyond License Plates and Crisis Management: Options for the EU for a Final Agreement on Kosovo and Serbia”, Pol Bargués et al. (IAI, Italy) 

With the 15th year anniversary of Kosovo’s independence approaching in 2023, the status quo of the Kosovo–Serbia conflict looks increasingly untenable. For more than a year now, tensions between Kosovo and Serbia have escalated over license plates, ID cards and energy. The latest hiccup was a failed crisis meeting in Brussels on 21 November between Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić facilitated by High Representative Josep Borrell and Special Representative for the Belgrade–Pristina Dialogue Miroslav Lajčák. These tensions are particularly worrisome against the background of Russia’s war in Ukraine, which demands the EU’s undivided attention and which has seen Serbia hedge its EU accession prospect against its historical ties with Russia. Yet the war in Europe has also put the Western Balkans back into the spotlight creating a window of opportunity to take action over the Kosovo–Serbia conflict.

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