By EWB28.05.2020

BRATISLAVA – European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilčik, believes that criticism of Miroslav Lajčak, the EU Special Representative for Belgrade-Pristina negotiations does not undermine him as a person, but undermines the EU as an actor, while Toby Vogel from the Democratization Policy Council still thinks that Lajčak is the wrong person for this position, Beta reported.

Bilčik said that criticism of the Slovak diplomat should be viewed in the context of the domestic political situation in Kosovo.

“If there is no clear and sustainable government in Kosovo, the dialogue with Serbia will not begin”, Bilčik, MEP from Slovakia, stated.

He stressed that attempts by Kosovo to take revenge by referring to European officials are very unfortunate.

“It is not about undermining Miroslav Lajčak as a person. It is about undermining the EU as an actor”, Bilčik said.

According to Bilčik, the idea of exchanging territory opens “Pandora’s box” not only in the Balkans, but also in the wider international context, and cannot be a good start or end to any sustainable agreement.

Bilčik, therefore, does not think that the exchange of territory between Kosovo and Serbia could contribute to a sustainable solution.

At the same time, Toby Vogel from the Democratization Policy Council, co-author of one of the most critical texts ever written about Lajčak, pointed out that the Slovak diplomat is the wrong man to lead the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina.

“We believe that the EU was wrong when it appointed Lajčak as the Special Representative for the negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo”, Vogel told Euractiv Slovakia.

Vogel said that Lajčak is the wrong man for the job because he comes, like Joseph Borell, from one of only a few EU member states that have not recognized Kosovo.

As he added, Lajčak’s appointment from the beginning creates unnecessary complications in the dialogue process, which is already complicated enough.

Vogel, however, concluded that Lajčak, when he was appointed, showed that he is a professional, rejecting the dangerous idea that the exchange of territory, i.e. the ethnic division of Kosovo, can solve the problem and bring stability.