In front of the panelist of the Evening Panel: Serbs and Albanians in 2025 as Friends and Allies: How do we Get There? was a rather difficult task to answer whether Serbs and Albanians can overcome present problems and focus their attention on positive shared history and common ground in solving economy issues, freedom of movement, education, etc. It is found that creating common market and investing in business development could lead to progress on various levels. However, those 11 years may still not be enough time for a friendship and alliance.
The EU is seen as good basis for inclusive and comprehensive dialog not only among the political elites, but on all levels of societies. Even though panelists and participants were eager to see another Brussels intergovernmental meeting, it is agreed that a meeting in Belgrade or Pristina would be step forward to desirable normalization.
Gordana Čomić indicated that politics was all about people. Results of the politics were even more important for the next generation. “But if you are using the same wording, it is not likely to have different results. What we are making of this relation will be presented as the history/knowledge to the next generation.” Mr. Đurić added that if the process of normalization was to continue peacefully, problems of the local communities must be taken into account. The focus must be on the positive aspects of our history.
However, both sides have to be equally positioned to have a honest relationship. “Agreement was reached in an unequal situation. Serbia was granted candidate status and began negotiations; Kosovo is in a difficult situation. This is an agreement of two unequal sides,” said Ms. Besa Shahini.
Optimism prevailed among speakers expecting younger generations that were not directly involved in conflicts to further develop the connections and eventually live together in 2025.
- Samuel Žbogar‚ EU Special Representative/Head of EU Office in Kosovo
- Marko Đurić‚ Director, Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Government of the Republic of Serbia
- Amb. Ernst Reichel‚ German Special Envoy for South-Eastern Europe, Turkey and the EFTA States
- Agron Bajrami‚ Editor-in-Chief, Koha Ditore
- Besa Shahini‚ Senior Analyst, European Stability Initiative
- Gordana Čomić‚ Deputy Speaker, National Parliament of the Republic of Serbia
- Alex N. Grigorev‚ President, Council for Inclusive Governance (Moderator)