US and EU Policy on Kosovo is in Disarray

The Trump administration is pushing for a quick deal between Pristina and Belgrade after the European Union failed to restart the dialogue – but the rift between the US and the EU is bad news for Kosovo itself.
While there have rarely been more envoys and special representatives mandated to help solve the Kosovo-Serbia dispute, it is hard to think of a time where there has been so little coordination, political vision and tangible plans to deal with unfinished business in the Western Balkans.

As a result, Kosovo, which in itself has never been more divided on the way forward, is left in an impossible situation having to choose between the American promise of a quick solution under the US presidential envoy’s unconventional and non-transparent diplomacy, a process led by an aimless EU, or the status quo. Undoubtedly, none represent a compelling prospect.

Twenty-one years since the NATO military intervention halted Serbia’s ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, the young republic remarkably finds itself isolated internationally and at odds with the very powers – the US and the EU – that made its existence possible.

At the centre of Kosovo’s disagreement with the West is Kosovo’s decision in 2018 to introduce 100 per cent customs tariffs on Serbian goods in response to Serbia’s campaign to prevent Kosovo from gaining recognition worldwide.

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