Analysts: Two Germanys model leaves Serbia empty-handed

Olaf Šolc i Emanuel Makron
Source: Twitter

The model of "two Germanys", which allegedly served as the basis for one version of the Franco-German proposal for the compromise of Belgrade and Pristina, is not only unfavorable for Serbia, but rather is a path to a dead end, Blic reports.

Not only do these two cases not have the same historical context, or the genesis of the problem, but also the trap is hidden in the fact that by accepting the solution that is almost half a century old, Serbia would recognize the independence of Kosovo, give up the negotiating power and the way to protect the Serbs living in Kosovo.

This is unanimously assessed by the interlocutors of Blic, commenting on the proposal that emerged as a compromise solution, which has the agreement of the former East and West Germany in its foundations.

An inferior plan

Among them is Timothy Less, a professor at the Center for Geopolitics at the University of Cambridge. He notes that this idea has not been accepted in Serbia.

"The 'two Germanys' solution would mean that Serbia would practically recognize Kosovo, for example, by allowing it to join the UN, which would be a big concession for Serbia and would thus give up most of its negotiating power. The only situation I could see for Serbia to accept such an agreement is to be offered something very significant in return," he points out.

He reminds that at the same time an alternative solution to the Brussels Agreement is still in play, which means that Serbia has no immediate incentive to accept what it sees as an inferior Franco-German plan.

"Serbia has also opened another option by starting a process in Kosovo that could lead to a de facto partition of the territory and allow it to save something from losing Kosovo. Despite the risks and uncertainties, I suspect that this will look better to the Serbs than any agreement that practically recognizes all of Kosovo," Less says.

This second version of the draft Scholz-Macron agreement proposal appeared three days ago.

It is very similar to the document signed in 1972 in Berlin, but in the "refreshed version" that concerns Belgrade and Pristina, the independence of Kosovo and Serbia are not explicitly mentioned. Nevertheless, the inviolability of mutual borders and respect for territorial integrity are mentioned.

Starting point

In addition, this is exactly the biggest stumbling block, political scientist and methodologist Bojan Klacar says for Blic. The biggest problem with this model, he believes, is that Serbia makes huge concessions with it, but not Kosovo, and Belgrade is then left without a guarantee that Pristina will solve the issue of Serbs.

"It is a very problematic element, because the problem of the two Germanys includes membership in the UN, and the latest document includes membership in the EU. Kosovo gets international recognition, the recognition of more or less the whole world, and then the recognition by Serbia becomes irrelevant," Klacar points out.

In this way Serbia loses a lot, he says, and adds that the agreement between the two Germanys could only be the starting point until an agreement is reached.

"If this were to be accepted, Kosovo would gain international recognition, while Serbia would only gain potential membership in the EU and the Community of Serb-majority Municipalities, which it already received in 2013. There is no specific plan for the EU membership, a specific date of entry into the EU. It would be good if it were made a kind of open living document, not a nailed-down agreement about which there are no negotiations," Klacar says.

For the agreement to be acceptable, both sides would have to lose a lot, and only then, they would find a compromise in the end.

"That way they could stand in front of the domestic public and say that they succeeded in the negotiations. Without that, there is no agreement," Klacar concluded.

Dusted off

The treaty between the two Germanys was the basis for a series of further treaties until the unification in 1990. Suzana Grubjesic from the Center for Foreign Policy tells Blic that it is unusual that the dust has been removed from it just now.

"It is obvious that in the absence of some innovative solutions, they are reaching for the solution of the Kosovo issue according to the model of two Germanys, which is strange if you consider the treatment of the Kosovo issue as a sui generis, special case," Grubjesic says.

One would expect, she notes, a special solution for a special case.

"In this way, a proposal that has more or less been on the table since 2007, and which Serbia ignored because it starts from the assumption that the agreement is signed by sovereign and internationally recognized states, is being recycled. If it turns out that the Franco-German proposal really implies a solution by to that model, and if that is the starting point for negotiations, it will be difficult to reach a compromise conclusion that Serbia could accept," Grubjesic concludes.

The authenticity of the leaked document was neither confirmed nor denied by Berlin, Paris or the European Union. However, the source of Blic from diplomatic sources, who held the Scholz-Macrono proposal in his hands, said that it "looks like the one Serbia received".

On this occasion, Blic addressed the officials in Berlin, in order to confirm its credibility, and in response, the spokesperson of the German government recalled the recent statement of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who said, "an agreement must be reached" and that he "hopes to see results soon".