Kosovo-EU accession proposal to be reviewed, process to be protracted
Kosovo applies for EU membership, however, the accession will require unanimous approval and 5 members still do not recognize Kosovo's independence.
Given that five European Union members have not formally recognized the independence of the Republic of Kosovo, as such joining the EU will be a protracted and difficult procedure, an EU source told Sputnik.
"When it comes to applications by countries to join the EU, there is a specific procedure that should be followed, and Kosovo is no exemption to this. However, in this case, there are many different parameters that the EU institutions should take into account, as Kosovo is not recognized by five EU member states. And this aspect will complicate the process," the source said.
The EU source noted that while the bloc will take Pristina's proposal under consideration, any future developments in EU-Kosovo ties require the unanimous approval of all member states.
"The fact that five member states are not recognizing the country is something that needs to be resolved for advancing to the next steps. So this might be a lengthy process and quite demanding when it comes to proceeding to the next steps, but for sure, applying for EU membership is a very positive first step," the source added.
In 2016, the European Union and Kosovo signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, which confirmed that Pristina intended to join the bloc and was prepared to carry out the required political, economic, trade, and human rights reforms.