Yorgos CHRISTIDIS, Belgrade-Pristina Relations and the Challenge of European Integration

Etudes balkaniques (Sofia) 2016 N 3

Abstract: The EU has been the prime institutional force behind internal reforms and regional co-operation in the Western Balkans since 1999. EU efforts have been to a large extent successful, forcing upon the local elites political choices that otherwise they would have found convenient to reject. Normalizing Serb-Kosovo relations since the latter’s declaration of independence in February 2008, or more accurately pushing forward a dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina has been among the greatest EU diplomatic successes in the Western Balkans since 2011. This paper analyses the changes that have taken in Belgrade’s policy vis-à-vis Kosovo, since February 2008 and the progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue from March 2011 until February 2015, under EU’ influence and pressure.

Keywords: EU, Integration, Belgrade, Pristina, Dialogue