Here is what the dialogue must not be: a quick fix, deceitful and simulated, alienated and hijacked from the people, led by ill intentions. This was already seen in 2014
Nothing more plausible has, until recently, described the relationship between Belgrade and Pristina than the phrase that has been increasingly heard since last summer: dialogue is at a dead end. I have been repeating it at least ten times longer, while not encountering much understanding among my international interlocutors. It was particularly misunderstood when I stated aloud that the dialogue was fake.
The ode to normalisation sung in the Brussels spotlight was simultaneously accompanied by the destabilisation of political life in the domestic arena and the descent of our societies left in the dark.
As a Serb from Kosovo, I am naturally most concerned with what was happening to my fellow countrymen and our lives. My community has been dwindling for the past 20 years. When I try to clarify to those who know nothing about us the extremely difficult and complex situation of Kosovo Serbs in respect to Belgrade- Pristina relations, then I say that we are an ingredient pressed in a sandwich, a thin sheet of lettuce.
It was precisely via this thin salad leaf that the normalisation process of the two sides was introduced back in 2014. Yet we all know that normalisation was another name for the final withdrawal of Serbia from Kosovo, as part of its state territory, towards the expectation of a formal arrangement between Serbia and Kosovo as two separate states.
The deadlock seems finally to have been broken in 2020, in a word – Grenell. At least that is how the revival of dialogue has been seen by the public.
Here is what the dialogue must not be: a quick fix, deceitful and simulated, alienated and hijacked from the people, led by ill intentions. The sandwich must contain all ingredients fresh, otherwise it will be difficult to chew and swallow, never mind to digested healthily
All sides applaud “Grennelisation”, with the stakeholders praising each other in their avalanches of tweets. The EU, with its revised proactive methodology towards the Western Balkans, just re-joined the club and is expected to soon appoint its own envoy for the dialogue.
But why is it not difficult for me to imagine that the great ideas of re-establishing air and rail traffic and building a highway did not originate from Grennel?
And why is it not at all difficult to imagine the ease with which the two presidents designed and got their teams ready to sign such Letters of Intent?
It is just my fear of 2014 déjà vu: the ease of printing important words on a white sheet of papers; the enthusiasm over a new chapter of life and time-line; the big promises and great thoughts versus unfulfilled obligations, unrealistic plans, ignored interests of people, wasted years, exhausted energies and lost generations.
Here is what the dialogue must not be: a quick fix, deceitful and simulated, alienated and hijacked from the people, led by ill intentions. The sandwich must contain all ingredients fresh, otherwise, it will be difficult to chew and swallow, never mind to digested healthily.