Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Spain produces non-paper aimed at blocking Kosovo's EU bid
Spain has submitted a letter in the form of a non-paper ahead of the adoption of EU's enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans.
IZVOR: BETA TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2018
According to reports, the goal of the document is to block Kosovo.
Only one week before the adoption of the EU enlargement strategy, Spain has challenged not only the strategy but also the entire process because of its strong opposition to including Kosovo in any process that leaves the impression that Kosovo is treated as a state - Albanian language daily Koha Ditore writes on Tuesday, according to Beta.
The non-paper letter that Spain submitted and which the newspaper aid it "secured" sees the country oppose the use of the term WB6 - an abbreviation for "six Western Balkans countries," and stress that "Kosovo is not a part of the enlargement process."
Taking into account Spain's objections, the daily continued, the EU enlargement strategy "instead of supporting, further extinguishes the hope for confidence in the EU enlargement process."
"In diplomatic circles, it is mentioned that Spain intends to oppose the participation of Kosovo at the EU and Western Balkan Summit in Sofia," the Pristina-based newspaper writes.
According to Koha Ditore's interlocutors in Brussels, the abbreviation WB6 is used in the strategy so as not to "upset" those countries that have not recognized Kosovo, "and in the text these (Balkan) countries are referred to as EU partners."
Spain also opposes the use of that term.
The newspaper concludes that this approach by Spain is the result of "the internal problems it faces" and "goes against everything it has so far said about European integration processes."
In the non-paper, Spain argues that it is necessary to make a distinction between the EU enlargement process and the procedures and strategies for the Western Balkans, which is part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), and which follows its own logic. Also, Spain thinks that enlargement should not be viewed as a direct means of resolving political problems in the Western Balkans region.
"The opposite should happen, it is necessary to overcome these conflicts in advance in order to enable the enlargement process," the representatives of Spain said.
According to reports, in the letter, Kosovo representatives - referred to along with a footnote - are urged to improve the implementation of the standards outlined in the Stabilization and Association Agreement, while "continuation of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, supported by the European Union, is suggested" - since it is "impossible to find a solution to the conflict by imposing unilateral results."