Media Corner

28. February 2008

Serbs protest in Brussels

The Polish government has recognized Kosovo's independence, but Serbs will have a hard time accepting the status quo set two week ago in Pristina Source: thenews.pl, by Piotr Bonislawski in Brussels


photo: Piotr Bonislawski

"Kosovo je Srbija, Kosovo je Srbija", chanted several hundreds representatives of Serb community from Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and France who gathered in front of the EU Commission and Council buildings in the centre of the EU quarter in Brussels to express their discontent with the recent developments. 

Dr Djordje Jovanovic, president of the World Serb Congress told thenews.pl:

"We gathered here in Brussels to protest against unilateral declaration of Kosovo's independence. We are really upset with the attitude of the European Union which is going against all positive norms of international law."

Borka Tomic from Serbian Institute for Public Diplomacy which organized the demonstration pointed out complex international implications of accepting Kosovo's independence:

"I call Europe to wake up because every country has its Kosovo. Common sense tells us that European integration doesn't go together with separations of regions. Quite the contrary, it goes by bringing its communities closer societally and economically; and this is definitely not happening in Kosovo now".

Jelena Petkovic, young professional working in Brussels have studied and spent most of her life abroad. "I could not have not came here,” she said to thenews.pl. “It is such an emotional issue and I want to show my support to my fellow compatriots.”

She is not happy with the way international community has dealt with the Kosovo issue. “This will hamper democratic transition in my country. Some weeks ago we have chosen pro European President in the popular elections and what did we get back from the West,” she asks rhetorically.

On 27 February the Polish government has recognized Kosovo's independence but the decision has sparked some controversy. President Lech Kaczynski made it clear that Polish decision should not be hasty as Kosovo example can create a precedent that brings serious consequences for Europe.

Professor Wojciech Roszkowski, Polish MEP closely working in the European Parliament with international issues points out to thenews.pl that the issue of Kosovo is very delicate.

"We should have taken our time and be more careful in this case. Serbs will probably never accept it,  and as this demonstration had shown they will use every mean to change this. Moreover we can expect a domino effect in Europe and beyond when different groups might start to ask for independence like in Spain for example. The Kosovo case can be also misused which could put our friends like Georgia in trouble."

The Serbian government has declared that it will not keep diplomatic relations with the countries that have recognized Kosovo's independence.


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