Western Balkans - Q&A (4 November 2022)


Q: At yesterday’s Berlin summit for the Western Balkans, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for “speeding up the normalization process between Serbia and Kosovo.” What is France’s position on the current state of this process? Germany is putting particular pressure on Serbia. Will France do the same? What are the key points of the French-German proposal to resolve the deadlock between Belgrade and Pristina?Pristina ?

A: Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna attended yesterday’s Berlin Process summit, which reaffirmed the six Balkan nations’ membership in the European family at a time when Russia – through its attack on Ukraine – is violating the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, calling our collective security architecture into question, and bringing war back to our continent.

At this meeting, the minister reiterated France’s very strong commitment – particularly throughout its EU Council presidency in the first half of this year – to bolster the Western Balkan countries’ prospects for future European membership by providing unwavering support for EU efforts to normalize relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

France will continue to support European mediation efforts aimed at achieving a comprehensive, legally binding agreement between Serbia and Kosovo. We remain highly involved on this issue, which is a matter of European security. In that spirit, on October 6, President Macron and the German Chancellor met with Serbian and Kosovar leaders on the sidelines of the European Political Community summit. They underscored the need to avoid escalating tensions on the ground and to move swiftly toward normalizing relations between the two countries.