The Lausanne principle - The future of the Kosovo Serbs

7 June 2004

Dear readers, Please find attached the latest ESI report, entitled: The Lausanne Principle: Security, Territory and the Future of the Kosovo Serbs. Five years into the international administration of Kosovo, two violent days in March 2004 have sorely tested the international commitment to a multiethnic Kosovo. This is a dangerous moment for international policy in the region. The urgent priority for the Kosovo mission and the incoming SRSG is to reaffirm the international commitment to multiethnic society, at both the diplomatic and the practical level. The essence of the ´Standards before Status´ approach is that Kosovo´s institutions of self-government must take responsibility for ensuring that minority communities can live in Kosovo in safety and dignity.

The paper proposes a number of practical measures for making this Standard a reality. A fundamental precondition, however, is that the international community explicitly rule out any solution for Kosovo based on territorial bargains or the expulsion of minority populations. Whatever its final status, Kosovo must remain whole and undivided. As always, we are looking forward to your comments.

Your ESI team.

Gerald Knaus