On 2 February Dahrendorf Forum Senior Fellow Sir Robert Cooper ran a workshop on the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue at the LSE International Relations department for its faculty and PhD students.
The purpose of the exercise was to give participants an in-depth insight to the negotiations which were conducted by Sir Robert as part of the EU technical dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo. These talks have been conducted since 2011 and aim to facilitate the normalisation between Serbia and Kosovo after the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Kosovo in 2008. Sir Robert led the talks from February 2011 to March 2012 in his capacity of counsellor to the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.
The workshop focussed on one critical issue which emerged during these talks. A dispute between Serbia and Kosovo on the Kosovo customs stamp lead to an escalation of the situation in which the border crossing in northern Kosovo had to be closed down. The participants were asked to prepare negotiations strategies for the delegations from either Belgrade, Pristina or the EU mediators on how to return to the negotiations and find practical solutions to re-open the border crossings.