Friday 2 February 2007 at 19:45 on Europe by Satellite

Kosovo Special


00:00 Cutaways Kosovo and Prishtina

00:53 Member of the European Parliament Joost Lagendijk on the EP’s resolution on Kosovo

We have had a first round of debate now in the Foreign Affairs Committee, it was clear there that some colleagues although they agree with the content have some doubts whether at this moment in time we should call it independence. Now we have some time until march to see what will happen also internationally. Ahtisaari according to most plans will come up with his final recommendation to the UN Security Council, probably at the beginning of March. Let’s see how he calls the situation, that he prefers. So yes, there will be a big debate about how to call it and how to present it. For me the most important part is not the label. I can understand that for diplomatic reasons that label is important but I am looking at the situation on the ground with decentralization, with links of Serb minority with Belgrade, with protection of Serb cultural heritage. These are for me the important things that should be arranged. And whether we call it that or that at the end of the day independence or limited sovereignty or conditional independence for me it is not the heart of the matter.

02:02 On what's next?

What I would like to have in the next couple of weeks – a debate also in Brusselsand in Belgradeand in Pristina about details of how the situation should look like and at the end of the day it’s up to Mr. Ahtisaari to keep that in mind when he makes his final draft. What we think, what Belgradethinks, what Pristine thinks it’s up to him to convince the Security Council. My worry is that because it’s a sensitive and I think, from the point of view of Belgrade, painful issue, there is sometimes a tendency to be vague, not to call a cat a cat and I think or I’m convinced that at the end of the day this is not of the benefit of anybody. If we create a situation which is open to many interpretations. Pristine says this was meant, and Belgradesays this was meant and New York, the Security Council, says no this was meant, we are in trouble. So I hope, with all due respect for diplomatic necessities, at the end of the day, in June, I hope before the summer break, there is an outcome that is clear for everybody, be it painful to some.

03:18 Cutaways of Lagendijk

03:24 On the feeling of humiliation

This concept of humiliation is a difficult one to cope with in politics because sometimes it’s used as a blackmail, saying that if you do that to me I will feel even more humiliated than I already feel so don’t do it. Which easily leads to the continuation of the status quo or some small corrections to it. I have travelled in the region for many, many years, I’m really convinced that one of the reasons for instability in the region is the fact that there is this so-called, almost black hole in the middle called Kosovo which is in limbo and doesn’t know where to go. Although on the short-term a new status for Kosovo would probably create instability in Serbia, with problems for democrats in Serbia, we should also be able to look beyond that. I think it’s now up to the EU, but at the end of the day, to the UN SC as well, to be clear and firm on the status of Kosovo while at the same time do our utmost to accommodate the Serb anxieties and fears and feelings of humiliation, but it should not lead to a wishy-washy situation where nothing is clear, that would continue the situation of instability in the whole region. So I see the problem, it won’t be easy, there is no easy solution or a quick fix but at the end of the day clarity and a European future for both Kosovo and Serbia I think is in the interest of everybody.

04:57 Cutaways of Kosovo roads

05:33 Cutaways of orthodox churches in Kosovo

06:33 Bishop Artemije on his meetings in Brussels(in Serbian)

Bio je jedan razgovor koji je trajao dosta dugo ali sam bio potpuno da Srbija nikada nece prihvatiti odvajanje Kosova od Srbije bez obzira da li se pominje u tom planu rec nezavisnost ili garantovana ili bilo kakva druganezavisnost. Prema tome rekao sam da do resenja za Kosovo moguce je doci samo putem pregovora, da je dobro sto Ahtisari ne nosi nikakav ultimatum u Beograd nego nosi samo predlog, a o predlogu se moze razgovarati I pregovarati, da bi pregovori koji predstoje doneli potrebne rezultate, neophodne da medjunarodna zajednica I Evropska Unija jasno I nedvosmisleno poruce albancima da nezavisnost Kosova nije jedina opcija. Onda ce oni biti spremni z arazgovore, pregovore spremni na kompromis, jer do proslegodisne pregovore u becu nisu dali rezultate bas zbog toga sto je neko pre pregovora njima obecao nezavisnost a oni nisu hteli da znaju nista manje od nezavisnosti. A kad se krece u pregovore sa takih pozicija onda su ti pregovori osudjeni na propast.

08 :07 Cutaways of a house being constructed

08:37 Exit from Pristina