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The “new europeans”?

The title does not refer to an old ’80s song (actually, a very good song) by Ultravox but concerns the latest developments of the EU enlargement. Yesterday, the commission released its opinions on enlargement and candidate countries. The state of this complicated “endless love affair” (for candidate countries) can be summarized as follows:

  • Croatia: 2013 is the magic number.
  • Montenegro: wow, get in! Good boy, homework well done last year. Let’s start with justice however, the easiest thing first, we (the EU) like to keep things simple.
  • FYROM/Macedonia: Get ready for our date but with no date darling, my Greek wife is jealous, she cannot listen to your name.
  • Iceland: We are warm, you are cold. How does it work?
  • Serbia: Yes, maybe. But you know: no Kosovo, yes party.
  • Albania: Maybe. Perhaps. Possibly. But.
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina: what?
  • Kosovo: again, what?
  • Turkey: no, thank you. But we (the EU, again) cannot (and do not want to) say that openly. Please, turn more Middle Eastern so we (the EU, again and again) can blame you. Adieu!

More on that: EU Official Press ReleaseReuters, WSJ 1, WSJ 2, RFE, Bloomberg 1, Bloomberg 2, Novinite, The Economist, BBC, EU Observer, Radio Srbija, Hurryet.

Tension rises in Northern Kosovo

While the attention of Europe is focused on its northern geographical extreme (Norway) and its boiling southern neighbourhood (Libya, Syria and all the events related to Arab Spring), its eastern flank  has loudly required its amount of attention as well: Kosovar special forces attempted to seize the control over its Serbian-majority northern area. This move was taken without prior consultation with any of the external actors involved in the region, namely the EU and NATO. This action has fostered criticisms by the EU and NATO. Serbian President Boris Tadić reacted saying that his country will not go to war and called for an immediate end of violences, blaming also what he defined hooligans who do not defend Serbia. NATO troops have restored order but the situation remains tense. Are these developments related only to the recent trade war between Belgrade and Pristina or are they linked to the speeding of Serbia’s EU accession process?