The issue of whether or not to recognise Kosovo
demonstrates once again why the idea of a common European foreign policy is absurd. On this issue—as on pretty much any other contentious foreign policy decision you can think of—the European Union is split. 17 of the Union’s 27 members either have recognised Kosovo or will do so in the next few days. A common European policy would have had to gone against the wishes of one of these groups.
Ironically, for years it was thought that the European Union was the solution to the Kosovo question. Serbian officials dropped heavy hints that they would accept independence for Kosovo if Serbia got to join the Union at the same time. But the backlash against enlargement, means that this deal was effectively taken off the table. The Russians have stepped eagerly into this vacuum, bolstering Serbian opposition to Kosovo’s independence.