A New Color Blue in Kosovo

EU flag.jpg

After months of wrangling, the EU mission in Kosovo (known as EULEX) has finally deployed, taking over the police, justice, and customs responsibilities that have been held by the UN for over ten years. Kosovo, of course, declared independence in February 2008, a declaration that has been recognized by some forty-odd countries (including the United States), vehemently rejected by erstwhile sovereign Serbia (and its supporters in Moscow), and accepted by an odd mix of EU countries (excluding, notably, Spain, worried about its own separatist movements).

Moving the EU in to ease the UN’s transition was long expected and should be praised as a sign of progress. Yet not everyone in Kosovo seems happy about it right now:

Kosovo’s Serb minority rejects the EU deployment, as most EU member states supported Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia earlier this year.

Ethnic Albanians fear that the EU made too many concessions to Serb leaders in a bid to garner their support, and fear that these will lead to Serbia having a say over Kosovo’s affairs in areas where Serbs live — eventually splitting the country along ethnic lines.

I suppose that grudging acceptance was to be expected from both sides, as any tricky compromise in such a tense situation is bound to engender. But the fact that the EU police are there, their flag is flying, and everybody seems calm gives hope yet to the peace process that brought this fellow a Nobel Peace Prize.