Die EU-Mitgliedstaaten müssten ihre vorrangige Verantwortung akzeptieren, den Kosovo in eine überwachte Unabhängigkeit zu führen, um ein ‚Chaos vor seiner Haustür‘ zu verhindern, so ein Bericht der International Crisis Group vom 21. August 2007.
Claiming that the strategy of bringing Kosovo to supervised independence through the UN Security Council has „failed“, the group call for the EU – or a significant majority of its member states – to declare itself ready to back an independent Kosovo in order to prevent „damage“ to the Union.
The report warns that inaction would bring „substantial“ risks for Europe, including increased refugee flows to the EU, rising organised crime in the Balkans, the discrediting of the Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy and thus its standing as a „credible“ international actor in other conflicts.
Meanwhile, the group fears that if Kosovo declares independence without international support, then the region will fracture – with Serbia reclaiming land north of the Ibar river and Serbs fleeing other parts of Kosovo.
While acknowledging the role played by the US in negotiations, the report nevertheless insists that the EU is the „key“ player, and demands that both continue to back the Ahtisaari blueprint for supervised independence in its entirety, despite the absence of a Security Council blessing.
The report makes a number of recommendations that the EU should follow if there is to be further progress:
- Concentrate on implementing the Ahtisaari plan to achieve supervised independence for Kosovo by April/May 2008, with or without Russian agreement and supported by all or a large majority of EU members;
- engage intensively with EU member states sceptical about Kosovo’s independence in order to build up maximum support;
- insist that Kosovo be put under no pressure to make concessions to Serbia beyond the terms of the Ahtisaari plan, and;
- proceed with independence for Kosovo under the Ahtisaari plan if the parties concerned have not reached an agreement by 10 December 2007.
The group stresses that the EU should prioritise Kosovo as its most urgent security issue and should thus devote as much time and effort to it as required, adding that there is „no practical alternative“ to supervised independence under the Ahtisaari plan.
The International Crisis Group report concludes that failure to support independence for Kosovo – with the eventual prospect of European integration – would inflict „huge damage“ on the EU. Continued inaction would show that the EU had „failed to act as a coherent international player to meet a major security challenge on its borders“, it adds.