Raseta: Due to the elections in the US and the EU, there will be stronger pressure on Belgrade and Pristina

Dragoslav Rašeta
Source: Kosovo Online

Due to the elections scheduled for next year in the US and the EU, there will be increased pressure on both Pristina and Belgrade to achieve tangible results in the dialogue and normalization process in the coming months, analyst Dragoslav Raseta from "New Third Way" says.

Raseta, speaking to Kosovo Online, points out that the pace of this process will be primarily influenced by the US presidential elections. He recalls that, during the previous administration of President Donald Trump, when there was a significant gap and disagreement between the US and the EU, it was very challenging to move forward from the starting point, even regarding technical agreements, let alone to reach any solution in a formal-legal sense.

"I believe that the goal of the current administration in Washington is to advance the dialogue and the normalization process between Belgrade and Pristina so much in the next year, before the presidential elections in November, that it can no longer be questioned whether it will ultimately be implemented," Raseta emphasizes.

Regarding the elections for EU institutions in June next year, Raseta notes that unexpected results there could accelerate or slow down the dialogue and normalization process.

He points out recent elections in the Netherlands and Spain, where it was expected that the right-wing would win, but in the end, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez managed to maintain the government.

"So, there could be some changes there as well. Above all, we will have elections next year in the UK, which can affect the relationship between the EU and London. But primarily, I think the decision will be made about whether Joseph Biden will succeed in winning and securing another presidential term, or if we will see Republicans at the helm of America again. In that case, I think there might be some slowdown because we see that the Foreign Affairs Committee in Congress, which is mostly made up of Republican congressmen, has a different view on how to resolve this conflict and the normalization process. They mainly favor some politicians from the previous Kosovo government. So, there might be some slowdown. But if the Democrats win again, I think the resolution of the dispute between Serbia and Kosovo will only speed up," Raseta believes.

Regarding the intensification of pressures, he points out that both Pristina and Belgrade have already been told that they must fulfill their obligations, regardless of how much the other side hinders or accelerates them.

"What somewhat suited both Pristina and Belgrade, using the delays and hindrances of the other side as an excuse not to fulfill their obligations, I think there is no longer room for that now, especially after Banjska. Both Pristina and Belgrade have a narrowed space for political maneuvering, and as we have seen from the reactions of both sides, they are now much more inclined to cooperate. Serbia and Kosovo find themselves in a difficult position regarding internal circumstances, with elections approaching in Serbia, so it is necessary to show a certain level of cooperation with the EU and Western partners to resolve this issue," Raseta concludes.