EU's Unanimous Recognition of Kosovo to Normalise Relations with Serbia – MEPsEU | February 5, 2016, Friday // 11:05| views
Members of the European Parliament vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, 02 February 2016. Photo: EPA
According to MEPs, the recognition of Kosovo by all member states of the EU will be helpful in normalising the relations between Pristina and Belgrade and in bringing more stability to the region.
In two resolutions adopted on Thursday, MEPs welcomed the beginning of EU accession negotiations with Serbia and the progress achieved in normalising relations between Belgrade and Pristina in 2015.
They highlighted that these relations would be helped further if all member states are to recognise Kosovo.
MEPs called on Belgrade and Pristina to move forward with the full and timely implementation of agreements reached so far, noting that this is one of the conditions for admitting Serbia to the EU.
A resolution on Serbia, which was adopted by 498 MEPs voting in favour, 66 against and 70 abstentions, welcomed the opening of the first negotiation chapter.
The resolution also called on Serbia to pursue its systematic reforms, ensuring that the work of judges, prosecutors and the media is free from political influence.
The European Parliament also urged Belgrade to increase its efforts on the fight against corruption and organised crime.
A resolution on Kosovo, adopted by 403 MPs voting in favour, 130 against and 104 abstentions, noted that five member states still have not recognised Kosovo, namely Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Romania and Slovakia.
The resolution also highlighted that the EU-Kosovo Association Agreement, ratified by the European Parliament on January 21, provides powerful incentive for reforms and the European integration of Kosovo.
However Pristina has to do more in the following fields – independence of the media and judiciary, fight against high-level corruption and organised crime, labour market reforms, which were identified as areas of major concern.