By opposing the Ohrid Agreement and its Annex becoming a part of negotiating Chapter 35 Serbia is closing the doors to membership in the EU, Robert Cooper, a mediator in the technical dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, said on Dec. 7.
The retired British diplomat was reacting to claims by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucicc that by including these documents which were harmonized by Kosovo and Serbia in the first half of 2023 in the negotiating framework, the Union was shutting its doors to Serbia.
"The European Union does not want to be part of the problem, but solve it. Its mission is for all of the members of the Union to have some kind of supranormal, not normal, relationship with their neighbors," Cooper, who mediated the technical dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia between 2011 and 2012, told the Voice of America (VoA).
Chapter 35 in the accession talks with Serbia includes neighborly relations, i.e. the regulation of relations with Kosovo which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, the VoA recalled. "The idea of leading Serbia into the EU, while it refuses to acknowledge the independence of its neighbor and accept it as a standalone state - is not the essence of the Union. This would strengthen the divisions between Serbia and Kosovo. What we want is for these divisions to disappear," Cooper said.