It came six months after the United Nations General Assembly welcomed the readiness of the European Union to facilitate a process of dialogue between the two parties, knowing that the dialogue in itself would be a factor for peace, security and stability in the region. The goal was clear: to promote cooperation, achieve progress on their respective European path, and improve the lives of the people.
The two parties facilitated by the EU got to work and 10 years on, much has been achieved. Important agreements were brokered so that today, people and goods move freely between Kosovo and Serbia, the judiciary and police structures in northern Kosovo have been integrated, Kosovo has its own international dial code and participates in all regional formats, to name a few.
Today, the Dialogue is at the core of the EU work in the Western Balkans, a key element of reconciliation, good neighbourly relations and a reflection of the fulfilment of the EU perspective for the region.
10 years after it started, facilitated by no less than three High Representatives – Baroness Catherine Ashton, Federica Mogherini and now Josep Borrell – the Dialogue has developed into a high level political process dealing with the most complex and sensitive issues at the core of the relationship between Kosovo and Serbia. There have been difficult moments and times of crisis and at times may have seemed impossible to continue. However, in the end, both Kosovo and Serbia have shown steadfast commitment, knowing that their paths to the European Union goes right through it.
However, a decade is a very long time. This is why it is right that the Dialogue should now reach its final stretch. The European Union strongly believes that is time to bring the Dialogue to a successful conclusion with one comprehensive legally-binding normalisation agreement between Kosovo and Serbia dealing with all outstanding issues; and it is working with the two Parties to meet this goal.