Monday, February 18, 2008
Back To Nationalism
Via Laura Rozen, President Bush has recognized Kosovo's independence and will officially establish diplomatic relations. So there you have it.
Paris, London, Rome and Berlin have also all moved rapidly to "avoid creating a vacuum with indecisive behavior," according to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. But despite having unanimously approved a support mission including police and judicial training teams, as well as maintaining the 15,000 strong KFOR deployment, the EU has left it up to member states to determine their position individually, due to internal divisions on the question. Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia are opposed to formal recognition due to fears that it might set a precedent for their own separatist minorities.
That's the beauty of the EU (a collective sovereignty or a collection of sovereignties, depending on the need of the moment) but also its internal contradiction, which yesterday's Le Monde editorial described well:
It remains no less the case that Europe is playing against type. Founded to transcend nationalisms, it now gives the impression that it's rewarding Kosovar nationalism. In the name of what will it then oppose the self-determination of the Serbs...of Northern Kosovo, or even that of the Serbs...in Bosnia-Herzegovina? (Translated from the French.)
Le Monde went on to point out that if this is to be the conclusion -- rather than a new chapter -- of the instability in the Balkans, then all of Europe will have to invest politically, especially to present Serbia with the image of a European consolation prize to make up for its current loss.