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 giugno 2020 


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Interview with Emma Bonino on Kossovo

With over 25 years of experience in politics, as an ex-European Commissioner, Member of the European Parliament, don't you think that the duration of the status quo in Kosovo has resulted in political and economic damages? Yes, and that status quo cannot hold for much longer without drifting back toward crisis - that is why I support the recommendations made by the International Crisis Group in its latest report. But the primary responsibility now is for Kosovo Albanians to demonstrate that their treatment of minorities is adequate. Do you think that over the last 5 years the EU has done enough for Kosovo, especially in terms of financial assistance? A huge amount of European taxpayers' money has gone into Kosovo. Of course we can, and we do, question if all of it has been spent wisely. The EU should have consolidated its different presences and purposes in Kosovo earlier, and taken a more hands on management approach to its UNMIK pillar - responsible for Kosovo's economic development. Mrs Bonino, Belgrade has demonstrated how it seeks to destabilise Kosovo (there are still parallel Serbian institutions which provoke deputies and UNMIK; appeal to Serbs to boycott institutions; the Serb President visits Serbs in Kosovo without meeting Kosovar politicians, telling Serbs that Kosovo will be Serbia). While on the other hand, the EU exaggerates in being very mild with Belgrade. Am I wrong? It would be good to see more conditionality on this issue being exerted by the EU. Pressure for multi-ethnicity is rightly being applied to Kosovo's provisional government, but not enough equivalent pressure is applied to the Belgrade government, which often seems determined to undermine any move toward genuine multi-ethnicity in Kosovo. However it is important also to point out that in part the parallel Serbian institutions exist because Kosovo Serbs have not been offered the necessary services to sustain their communities by the Albanian-dominated provisional government structures. At the end of January this year, you wrote in Corriere della Sera that Kosovo is moving towards independence, the international community should accept this and that Belgrade should give up on its quest for Kosovo. According to you, will this be the most appropriate road towards independence? Of course, otherwise I would not have written those words! But whether this is the way things will work out is a different matter. It should also be emphasised that the speed of movement towards independence will depend on Kosovo demonstrating that it is capable of treating minorities well. We have not always seen that. You are in favour of a wider Europe. How will the road towards the EU be for Kosovo? Kosovo's destiny is clearly to join the European Union at some point in the future. However some of its neighbours will join first. Albania, compared with other Balkan States, was leading the path towards the EU (until 1997, with Bulgarian, FYROM, Croatia), and today it is the least advanced. Don't you think that this Government is performing poorly? The facts would suggest that, wouldn't they? What would you suggest to Albania at this stage of moving towards the EU? Albania has to demonstrate that it is willing to be a reliable partner in the international community, and to fulfil its commitments. Macedonia submitted the answers to the Commission's questionnaire. When can we expect to see in the EU this country hardly getting over its ethnic conflict? At this stage, Macedonia's handling of ethnic relations and other issues is encouraging. If the present course and pace of reforms are maintained, the decision on Macedonia's membership in the EU could be made by 2009-2010. Mrs Bonino, recently you wrote that it would be necessary to initiate preparing a Constitution for an independent Kosovo. American constitutionalists have submitted such a constitution to the President of Kosovo. In other words, what should Kosovar politicians undertake in order to achieve independence as early as possible? Drafting a constitution is only the first step. The constitution has to be granted legitimacy by open discussion and a fair, representative referendum. The main condition for Kosovo's independence is equal treatment of minorities. Kosovo's provisional government has to visibly demonstrate its commitment to the Standards Implementation Plan.

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