Europe to send a peace mission to Kosovo
In addition to that, the EU wants to establish a reflection group of some 10 'wise men'
17 December 2007
The heads of state and leaders of government of the European Union have decided to send a peace mission to Kosovo. In addition to that, the EU wants to establish a reflection group of some 10 'wise men' which, chaired by former Spanish PM Felipe Gonzalez, is to reflect on the future of the Union.
The Brussels part of the European summit started this morning and was completed at a trot.
After signing the Lisbon Treaty in the Portuguese capital yesterday, there was seemingly little energy left for the other affairs at hand. The 27 member states reflected on the impending declaration of independence by the Serbian province of Kosovo. But there was to be no united European stance on the matter.
After the meeting, Romanian president Traian Basescu underlined that his country would under no circumstances accept a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo.
Agreement on peace mission
The European leaders did manage to reach an agreement on the peace mission for the Serbian rebel province.
The mission is to go ahead with or without the support of the UN Security Council, it was said. The Security Council is to assemble on Wednesday on the matter. According to the European leaders, the mission is to mobilise some 1,800 soldiers, policemen and lawyers but there were no further details on when the mission would start.
According to Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (Flemish liberal), it was high time Europe took its responsibility in the matter.
“There was a time the Americans had to intervene in Kosovo, much to our disgrace, because we couldn’t agree on the matter. This time we have reached an agreement,” Mr Verhofstadt said.
'Wise men and women'
Finally, the 27 heads of state and government leaders also agreed to establish a group of some 10 'wise men and women' that is to reflect on the future of the European Union. Chaired by former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, the group is to initiate the discussion on the European borders and the Turkish entry into the European Union.
The driving force behind the reflection group is French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who himself is a strong opponent of Turkey joining the union.
The group is also to reflect on long-term policies regarding energy, the environment and security.