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This may sound very naive, but what about a deal where everyone recognises Kosovo in return for both Serbia and Kosovo being admitted to the EU at the same time and under the same conditions.  Thus a new boarder is created and made less important at one and the same time.  An EU high Commission would be created to safeguard minorities on either side of the boarder and ensure all administrative bodies act in a non-discriminatory way.  Over time, we might get back to a situation similar to Tito's Yugoslavia, where there were regional tensions, but not much by way of bloodshed, and the region was able to function reasonably successfully.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 06:50:44 AM EST
Frank Schnittger:
This may sound very naive, but what about a deal where everyone recognises Kosovo in return for both Serbia and Kosovo being admitted to the EU at the same time and under the same conditions.
I refer you to the case of Cyprus.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 06:52:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Northern Cyprus was not admitted to the EU, and may yet become a stumbling block for Turkey's entry

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 06:59:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually...

All of Cyprus is now in the EU de iure as Northern Cyprus is not recognised internationally. De facto, the Cypriot government does not have control of the Northern territory. There wre several proposed treaties to solve this problem. The plan was that both sides would approve the plan, Cyprus would be reunified and then Cyprus would join the EU.

As it happened, the North approved the latest plan, the South didn't, and still the EU went ahead with accession and now it cannot use accesion as a carrot to solve the Cyprus problem.

So you should be very careful about using joint EU accession as a tool to resolve the Kosovo situation.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 07:05:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Precisely - the EU went ahead when only one party was on board and that destroyed the prospects for agreement.  That was a big mistake.  My point about Kosovo/Serbia was precisely that it would have to be a joint/simultaneous/mutually agreed accession

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 07:33:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In addition, the Serbs in Northern Kosovo and in Republika Srpska should be given the same right to self determination and be allowed to integrate with Belgrade instead of with Pristina and Sarajevo respectively.

If the EU were to offer that, I think most Serbs would agree that some justice would begin to make its way to the Balkans creating the conditions for a win-win deal.

But I doubt the US would endorse that kind of a deal.

by vladimir on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 07:08:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is this taboo that borders are untouchable. Like I said before, the last time that happened in Europe was WWII. It gives people the creeps to think about it.

At worst, a division of a state into its constituent provinces is allowed, but moving those borders is considered taboo.

For instance, the peaceful partition of Czechoslovakia. In the case of Yugoslavia, the borders of the constituent republics were preserved - which explains why displacing the Serbs around Vokovar was preferred to trading that territory for some other one, and why all efforts have been made to preserve the integrity of Bosnia even if within it both people and territory have been traded. It has been suggested that the area around Mitrovica be given to Serbia if Kosovo becomes independent. That would require moving borders, so it can't be done. Never mind that apparently Tito already moved that border in the opposite direction decades ago. Now, if a state decides to change its internal borders, that's okay. But if we're going to split up a state it must be along the existing internal borders.

It doesn't make a lot of sense. IMHO you could organize a referendum with a combination of land and population transfers based on the result. Something similar was done in Schleswig over 100 years ago, but not before two wars between Germany and Denmark.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 07:34:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are plenty more examples in the breakup of the Soviet Union. Most of the Republics never had an independent existance prior to the breakup and the borders were drawn either by the Czarist administration or by the Soviets (e.g., Stalin redrew the borders of Ukraine at one point). So, when the USSR breaks up the internal borders are preserved and you get Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azaerbaijan, Transdnistria seceding from Moldova, the Crimea question between Russia and Ukraine, Abkhazia and Ossetia (North and South) between Georgia and Russia, Chechnya...

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 07:46:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here are the administrative borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina which clearly indicate the different privinces which I presume are still in place today. If not, there are two Republics, each with its own constitution, government and budget in Bosnia Herzegovina today, which is more in terms of statehood than what Kosovo has.

And here are the administrative borders of Kosovo which can likewise be used to delineate who gets what.

So I don't quite follow your point. If the Albanians can have the right to secede from Belgrade using internal Serb administrative borders as the yardstick to define their territory, why can't the Serbs also decide with whom they want to live and use those same administrative borders to define their territory?

Philosophical argumentation about what "gives people the creeps" will not lead to a peace agreement but to war - or at best, to severe tensions that will be a headache to Europe for many decades to come. It's time for realpolitik and some bold moves.

by vladimir on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 08:02:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
vladimir:
So I don't quite follow your point. If the Albanians can have the right to secede from Belgrade using internal Serb administrative borders as the yardstick to define their territory, why can't the Serbs also decide with whom they want to live and use those same administrative borders to define their territory?

Of course that's what everyone has in mind. First Kosovo secedes, then we get separatist activity and possibly violence in the Serb.majority areas until they secede. But also note that people don't like the idea of Kosovo joining Albania into one "Greater Albania" so presumably they woulnd't like the region around Mitrovica joining Serbia.

Look, like I said, it makes not sense, and like I also said this taboo about redrawing borders is not a philosophical point and is causing more headaches than if people just sat down and redrew the damn borders with the agreement of the populations involved.

In my opinion you could have a referendum at the level of municipalities where each municipality chooses which side they want to be on, with some territorial transfers to ensure continuity of both territories and population exchanges. This was done in Schleswig as I mentioned, but the last time that border was touched was at the end of WWI.

As for population transfers, even when done by mutual agreement and presumably peacefully, the example of India and Pakistan shows that one would have to expect violence
Partition of India - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The newly formed governments were completely unequipped to deal with migrations of such staggering magnitude, and massive violence and slaughter occurred on both sides of the border. Estimates of the number of deaths range around roughly 500,000, with low estimates at 200,000 and high estimates at 1,000,000.[5]
This is out of under 15 million people, half moving in each direction in a total population of several hundred million.

But, seriously, at this point I think a bold solution like the Partition of India or the final settlement of the Schleswig question would have to be considered.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 08:18:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great, now that we have agreement on the principles I'll take the message to Kostunica, Frank can take it to Solana, FarEasterner can take it to Putin, Upstate NY can go see W, and we can sign an agreement this evening.

Err, who's gonna talk to Agim Ceku??

by vladimir on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 08:28:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know who: Upstate NY ! :)
by vladimir on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 08:31:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have at least 4 albanian ETers, and two of them have posted at one point or another. Upstate NY doesn't need to do two jobs. ;-)

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 08:46:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
on second thoughts, if we really want a European solution, best to leave the Americans out of the negotiations.
by vladimir on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:01:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Had a chat with Solano.  He wants the Irish to ratify the Reform Treaty first so he can get a bigger job and expense account.

PS I'm too busy campaigning for an independent republic of Wicklow so we can stop all those Dubliners stealing our water, despoiling our countryside, and ravishing our maidens.  UP WOLF - WicklOw Liberation Front.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 09:18:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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