Gogic: The Growth Plan will be the reason for another promise from Kosovo to form the CSM

Beograd_231213_Ognjen Gogić 03
Source: Kosovo Online

The institutions of the European Union have agreed on the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans for the period from 2024 to 2027, worth six billion euros, and political scientist Ognjen Gogic says that it is obvious that the EU will continue to promote the Growth Plan despite not all reforms being implemented in the countries of the region and regardless of someone breaking their promises, such as, when it comes to Kosovo, the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities.

"In October, it was said that a condition for Serbia and Kosovo to access the Growth Plan was to implement the Brussels-Ohrid Agreement, which for Serbia meant de facto recognizing Kosovo and for Kosovo to form the Community of Serb Municipalities. Later, we had a summit in Skopje where this was no longer repeated, so it seems that the EU will not insist on any condition to the extent that it would jeopardize the implementation of that plan, and the process will continue regardless of someone breaking their promises, such as the formation of the CSM by Kosovo," Gogic says.

He believes that the Growth Plan initiative was not offered solely because of the needs of the countries in the region, but because it reflects certain interests and priorities of the European Union, perhaps to consolidate this area in some way and to maintain its influence in the context of global upheavals and divisions.

"So the EU is lenient and selective there because it has its own interest in all of this. As for the promise of the CSM, Kosovo has already 'sold' it so many times. First, it was given in 2013 in exchange for the integration of the northern part of Kosovo, then in 2015 in exchange for a series of agreements, including telecommunications and the dialing code, in 2023 the promise was given again that the CSM would be formed for Serbia to accept the Brussels-Ohrid Agreement, and now we have the CSM as a promise that Kosovo gives in exchange for membership in the Council of Europe. So even if that condition is set for the Growth Plan, it will only be for Kosovo to make a promise to form the CSM once again, but it has no significance because no one realistically expects Kosovo to form the CSM to gain certain concessions," Gogic says.

As he adds, it is very likely that the CSM will be 'sold' once again by Pristina, both for the Council of Europe and later for access to the Growth Plan, but no one will say that the CSM must first be formed before any benefit is obtained, instead, it will be accepted as a promise that will mean nothing.