Northern tensions, the EU’s three demands for Kosovo and Serbia

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The European Union has made it clear to Serbia and Kosovo that they must meet three conditions in order to alleviate the situation in Northern Kosovo, or face serious consequences for both parties.

Following discussions with Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, stated that the international community has three clear demands.

He added that new elections in Northern Kosovo should be held with Serb participation, and that work on forming the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities should begin. Borrell, who describes the situation in the North as hazardous, warns that if these requests are not met, it will have an impact on relations with the international community.

“We have three clear demands: new local elections immediately; ensuring the participation of Kosovo Serbs; and starting work on establishing the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities through the EU-facilitated Dialogue.” Failure to do so will have major ramifications for our relationships,” warns Borrell.

The situation in Northern Kosovo deteriorated on May 26 when the Kosovo Police aided Albanian mayors of Serb-majority municipalities in entering municipal offices against local populations’ opposition.