Erline Koca for Vicinity Chronicles 13 September 2022
Thanks to this process, Kosovo and its presentation in the world is becoming more and more equal with other countries.
The Berlin Process, an initiative of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, which began in 2014 with the aim of improving policymaking and better cooperation of the six countries of the Western Balkans: Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia. This “agenda” includes the goal of developing these countries in various spheres such as transport and energy, political and economic relations as well as “reconciliations” between them, where as a fresh case we have the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.
After holding summits over the years such as the summit in Vienna (2015), in Paris, in Triese (2017), and in London (2018), in Sofia (2020), the new German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz for the first time after taking the office, comes to the Balkans to try to help resolve some key issues that have gained importance in European capitals following Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Scholz connects one after the other the visits to North Macedonia and Bulgaria, to Skopje, to Sofia, where the Balkan tour ends. The next summit, which the German chancellor has announced to be held in November, will be attended by the governments of the six Balkan countries involved (Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), several EU member states- (Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia) and representatives of European institutions.
According to the agenda, which in addition to Skopje, also includes meetings in Belgrade, Pristina, it clearly shows that Scholz’s mission is focused on – exchanging views on stability and development in the region, especially on relations between Kosovo and Serbia and finding settlement of the Macedonia-Bulgaria dispute.
In the case of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, these two countries have preconditions for the continuation of talks – Kosovo demands recognition from Serbia, while Serbia demands that Kosovo remove taxes.
As for the benefits that Kosovo has had over the years from the Berlin process and will continue to have, there are many. The flag of Kosovo, like that of other neighboring countries, is presented in every forum. Thanks to this process, Kosovo and its presentation in the world is becoming more and more equal with other countries, thus has the opportunity to cooperate and make compromises with the leaders of neighboring countries. Its membership in large political “groups” for common benefits, such as membership in the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) where through this network, Kosovo enters the European transport network. Another opportunity offered by this process is membership in the Regional Office for Youth Cooperation and many other benefits.
Hoping for the completion of some of the still unfulfilled requirements set by this process, in the near future, Kosovo will have the recognition of five EU member states, create a bilateral agreement with Serbia and become part of the European Union.
Erline Koca, a student in the Department of Journalism, at the University of Prishtina