Gunther Krichbaum: Serbia's EU membership depends on Kosovo's recognition

Gunther Krichbaum: Serbia's EU membership depends on Kosovo's recognition

 "Serbia's membership in the European Union is not possible without the normalization of the relations with Kosovo. However, this is not the only challenge that Serbia is facing. At least the same importance has the subject of reforms in the rule of law," said the chairman of the German Bundestag Committee on European Affairs, Gunther Krichbaum. According to him, Kosovo 'is the problem of all problems when it comes to Serbia's European integration and that this is the biggest obstacle to membership in the European Union, but Krichbaum says: "There is still much to be done in terms of judicial independence, media freedom and the fight against corruption and organized crime. So far, for example, no judgment has been made on high-level corruption," he said in an interview.

Serbia is on a good path to the EU, though he said, "negotiations may last for several more years." When asked of what is the solution in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Krichbaum said the negotiating framework for EU talks it is clearly defined that "relations between Serbia and Kosovo should be normalized fully before EU membership."

"It is the only way the two countries can fulfill their European perspective. Historically, the EU is above all a peace project. Therefore, we do not want to import unresolved bilateral conflicts."

Asked whether the term "normalization" meant recognizing independence and whether Kosovo's partition was acceptable to Berlin, Krichbaum said: "Normalization, normalization does not mean a bit," he said, adding that Germany will support the two countries.

He noted that the relations "between Serbia and Kosovo are getting much better", but says the negotiations should continue as "is far from what is called the neighborhood of well." He also said that the EU is the only partner in the Western Balkans considering regional stability and the prosperity of people in the region.
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