admin1 – April 24, 2013 – 1:57pm

Support for the agreement between Serbia and Kosovo and reserve that something similar may be done in Macedonia are the initial reactions in Macedonia following Brussels’ delight that, finally, two countries in the region, the two most problematic ones for that matter, decided to turn to the future instead of the past, Utrinski vesnik reports. Is this progress going to have any effect on Macedonia? Is it able to give a push to our integration as well? And is it going to be fair if Serbia is allowed to begin membership negotiations before Macedonia is although Macedonia was the first to receive a candidate member state status? Skepticism is the common denominator of both home and foreign analysts, the paper says.

According to Gerald Knaus from the European Stability Initiative, it has long become clear that Serbia will have a European future provided it accepts Kosovo’s independence. Now the country has been afforded that opportunity provided it takes two steps – accepting Kosovo’s independence de facto, which has been achieved with the agreement signed with Pristina, and accepting it de jure on joining the EU, as the end of the process.

“The EU and a few other crucial countries are not going to let another country such as Cyprus become a member with an unresolved conflict and unclear control over its entire territory,” Knaus says, adding that Macedonia now faces a similar dilemma. “Unless Macedonia is ready to change its name, it is not going to have a European future. This, of course, is not fair. However, the EU’s insistence on recognizing Kosovo appeared unfair to the Serbs as well.”