Kosovan parties are calling on Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama to withdraw from the Mini – Schengen initiative with Serbia and Macedonia. Officials in Kosovo fear that the initiative restores Serbian influence in the region, and will derail the actual EU accession prospects of the participating countries.
The official reason given by Kosovo to Albania is the recent comment from Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who dismissed a massacre of an Albanian nationalist and his family in Kosovo 20 years ago as fabricated. The Racak killings were the justification for the 1999 Kosovo war.
Kosovo is still without a Government, as the protest nationalist VV party which won the recent elections continues its talks aimed at forming a new coalition. Albulena Haxhiu from VV said that “The Mini – Schengen process will serve Serbian interests. Albania should view Serbia through Kosovan eyes. We are against meetings where Kosovo is not present and against discussions with a President who denies war crimes in Kosovo”.
Many in Serbia also oppose the initiative, which is meant to open the borders even further between the three countries, as something that may lead to greater Albanian migration toward Serbia proper and also derail EU accession. Macedonian outgoing Prime Minister Zoran Zaev remains an enthusiastic supporter and has pushed the initiative in light of his failure to receive an EU accession talks date even after the humiliating name change he imposed on Macedonia.
Albania is supposed to host the third consecutive Mini – Schengen summit in three months in Durres, after Novi Sad and Ohrid.