Serbia and Kosovo have agreed to cooperate on practical issues, bringing hopes of improved relations – and taking a step towards possible membership of the European Union.
The EU-mediated talks sidestep the question of Kosovo’s independence, focusing on daily problems resulting from Serbia’s refusal to recognise its formal separation.
The EU wants to boost law enforcement and tackle crime.
“What we will do, is through EULEX, we will produce certified copies of civil registry books that are not in Kosovo and the information will be transferred to Kosovo. This will provide greater legal certainty for people living there, this will make organised crime, fraud, identity theft, all of thsoe things will become more difficult now,” said EU foreign policy adviser Robert Cooper.
Belgrade’s EU prospects improved greatly in May with the capture of wartime general Ratko Mladic. But EU officials want progress towards reconciliation with Kosovo.
Under the new deal, both sides will recognise each other’s ID cards and education diplomas, making travel easier and allowing better access to jobs – especially for Kosovars seeking work in Serbia.
Many issues remain unresolved – but freer movement should ease many people’s daily lives.