By Nikolas Rajkovic*
Three key words have animated the policy-speak on Kosovo to date: ‘negotiation’, ‘compromise’ and ‘solution.’ These terms seem uncontroversial in their literal sense and have been accepted by the parties and the ‘Troika’ powers (the
Recent ‘Troika’ talks were grounded on a commitment to negotiation.
This point regarding spoiled negotiations brings us to the next term, compromise, and its similar misuse. The most commonly stated storyline is that
Thus we come to the final term – solution – and the current efforts to conflate its meaning with independence. The narrative is as follows: failed negotiations and inadequate compromise make independence the only viable solution for European policy-makers. The first problem with this claim is procedural; it runs afoul of the clean hands rule, which states that the Kosovo Albanians should not be allowed to profit from their own misdemeanour of failing to negotiate and compromise in good faith. A unilateral, one-sided statement of independence is perilous in that it provokes foreseeable and dire consequences. Here independence advocates should be taken to task for their ostrich-like disclaimers that they don’t know what will happen after independence is declared.
First, the historical record is unequivocal: defiant secession in most of the ex-Yugoslav republics has produced a series of bloody inter-ethnic wars. Second, one-sided independence is likely to prompt Kosovo’s Serbian-controlled north to ‘secede’ and rejoin
In closing, diplomacy on Kosovo has produced feats of rhetoric unmatched in actual practice. The present crisis on
………………………..*Nikolas Rajkovic is a political sciences researcher at the European University Institute,