The inability of Kosovo and its former ruler, Serbia, to reach any form of agreement over future relations, will undoubtedly result sometime after January 1st in a declaration of independence by Kosovo. There are fears such an announcement will strengthen nationalist forces in Serbia which might even resort to violence in order to halt this step. Slovenia, which will assume presidency of the European Union, is proposing a plan of action to head off discord. Under its proposal, within 48 hours of Kosovo independence, a core group of European Union members such as Germany, France, Britain and France will recognize the new nation. Several weeks later, a second group including the United States would recognize Kosovo and finally several weeks later a third group comprising nations adjacent to Kosovo would give their OK to the new nation.
The reality is that about 100,000 Serbs remain in the predominantly Muslim nation. Neither side can put aside the terrible deaths inflicted by Serbian forces upon innocent Muslims and the retaliation of Kosovo toward Serbs in the province. Slovenia is attempting to establish a distance from the initial independence of Kosovo and its final reality. The plan is not perfect but it moves Kosovo forward. The European Union will most probably wait several months before discussing the possible entrance of Kosovo into the union. Perhaps, Serbia can also enter which might eventually lead toward some form of reconciliation.