Progress in Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue

Serbia and its former southern province of Kosovo took steps towards overcoming decades of animosity on Tuesday, signing energy and telecoms agreements and bringing Belgrade closer to one day joining the European Union, reports

After European Union-mediated talks in Brussels, Serbs in northern Kosovo will enjoy greater rights and be able to manage some issues such as the local economy and education, as well as having access to funding from Belgrade.

“Today’s outcome represents landmark achievements in the normalisation process,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement, referring to the two sides that fought a war in the 1990s and which both aspire to EU membership.

Kosovo will, for example, have its own telephone country code, essentially a recognition by Serbia of the sovereignty of majority-Albanian Kosovo, which has declared independence.

Serbia’s hopes of opening the first chapter in EU accession talks hinge on implementation of an EU-brokered deal in 2013 to regulate relations with Kosovo.