EU expected to affirm accession prospects for Kosovo and Serbia at West Balkans Summit

EU expected to affirm accession prospects for Kosovo and Serbia at West Balkans Summit

Today, 27 EU member states will attend a summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, where a contentious declaration on the future of is expected to be announced.

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Photo: Reuters/Hannah McKay

Today, 27 EU member states will attend a summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, where a contentious declaration on the future of is expected to be announced.

With Kosovo—which unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008—the main the six Balkan countries will be referred to as “partners” to assuage objections to Kosovo being referred to as a state. The declaration will encourage Kosovo and Serbia to resolve their disputes for the advancement of both their applications, although the aim is for Serbia to attain membership by 2025.

Serbian President Alexander Vucic and his Kosovan counterpart are inching towards normalising relations, but disagreements remain over Belgrade’s claim over Kosovo along with the latter’s treatment of the ethnic-Serb minority. Inking a deal would give both adversaries a significant boost. However, Vucic faces an uphill battle to win over public opinion given only 26% of Serbs support EU membership compared to 90% in Kosovo. Watch for the rhetoric from both leaders at the summit for signs of agreement, as their EU futures depend on it.