Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The dirty effects of the white Schengen list

It has always been my position that the EU has played an important role in tearing Yugoslavia apart. And although the EU had its share of active harmful policies (for example the recognition of Croatia and the Bosnia "police reform") most of it was passive. If leaving Yugoslavia could bring you sooner in the EU: who could resist the temptation?

Now it looks like Schengen will have similar unintended harmful effects. People from Serbia will be allowed visa-free travel into the EU from 1 januari 2010 but people from Kosovo with a Serb passport not. But what will that mean for the refugees from Kosovo who live in Serbia? That they can better stay in Serbia? And what for the Serbs in Kosovo: that it is more profitable to take refuge into Serbia?

For Kosovo similar harmful effects apply. One of the reproaches is that Kosovo doesn't control its borders well enough. It sounds like the Kosovo version of the Bosnian police reform. Bosnia itself gets the same treatment: a dispute between the entities about issuing passports is one of the reasons for not allowing on the white Schengen list. In my opinion the EU is behaving in these cases as a manipulative third world dictator. It should allow the ethnic groups in those countries to find solutions for their own problems. The EU should offer a bit of flexibility in solving those problems. Take Bosnia: as long as it provides adequate procedures, what is the problem with two entities proving passports? This is just the EU doing the kind of grandstanding that made the Yugoslav conflicts so difficult to solve.

It is still a proposal and the final approval will only be in november. But I am curious how much the EU will be able to avoid of those pitfalls.


Anonymous said...

"people from Kosovo with a Serb passport not"

Either they should move from Kosovo to Serbia, or get a Kosovo passport, so everything is proper.

Similarly, do you think that people in the US would be allowed border travel if they had Thailand or other foreign passports instead of the proper US passports?

stories said...

"One of the reproaches is that Kosovo doesn't control its borders well enough."

This is said also by EU and is very laughable. Kosovo's borders are controlled by some 16 000 NATO soldiers, some thousand KPS-policemen and many hundred EULEX "monitors" and this is not good enough? EU must be world's best hypocrites.