Frozen conflicts are normally associated with intractable territorial disputes, in which, despite a relatively peaceful situation on the ground, the underlying contentious issues remain unresolved and the danger of the outbreak or resumption of hostilities remains present. Given the above definition, the sovereignty dispute over Kosovo must be differentiated from the situation in the Serb-inhabited north of the country, only the latter having displayed over the years many of the typical features of frozen conflicts. The present article examines the diplomatic efforts undertaken to settle the Kosovo crisis and ‘unfreeze’ the ethnic conflict in the North, with special attention devoted to the 2013 Brussels Agreement on the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. The role of international law rules and principles in this process is taken into consideration. The argument made is that progress in the so-called called ‘EU-facilitated’ dialogue will be decisive in ‘unfreezing’ the conflict in the North and that, in turn, will lead to the final settlement of the Kosovo contention; such progress will be greatly enhanced by legal consistency, political flexibility, and an overall effort towards reconciliation between Serbs and Kosovars.

Unfreezing and Settling the Conflict over Kosovo

Milano Enrico
2017-01-01

Abstract

Frozen conflicts are normally associated with intractable territorial disputes, in which, despite a relatively peaceful situation on the ground, the underlying contentious issues remain unresolved and the danger of the outbreak or resumption of hostilities remains present. Given the above definition, the sovereignty dispute over Kosovo must be differentiated from the situation in the Serb-inhabited north of the country, only the latter having displayed over the years many of the typical features of frozen conflicts. The present article examines the diplomatic efforts undertaken to settle the Kosovo crisis and ‘unfreeze’ the ethnic conflict in the North, with special attention devoted to the 2013 Brussels Agreement on the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. The role of international law rules and principles in this process is taken into consideration. The argument made is that progress in the so-called called ‘EU-facilitated’ dialogue will be decisive in ‘unfreezing’ the conflict in the North and that, in turn, will lead to the final settlement of the Kosovo contention; such progress will be greatly enhanced by legal consistency, political flexibility, and an overall effort towards reconciliation between Serbs and Kosovars.
Frozen Conflicts, Kosovo, Dispute and Conflict Settlement, Treaty Instrument, International Law, Reconciliation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/971694
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