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". Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, looking back on the position which this House has adopted with regard to Kosovo since 1999, there is only one conclusion possible to my mind. The present report is the logical culmination of a long process of deliberation in this House, with us having reached two main conclusions over the past two years. The UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, has wholeheartedly endorsed this conclusion. In other words, others are leading, and I think it only right that this House should spell out our wishes. This means that we need to support Ahtisaari’s recommendation by clearly stating that, in our view, the best outcome of the process would be supervised sovereignty. We, in this House, are parliamentarians, politicians. Diplomats we are not. I would be delighted if I could count on your support for my report in this plenary tomorrow. I will not rest until Parliament clearly states what in our view the end goal should be. This is, as I see it, sovereignty supervised by the EU. This is clarity to which the Kosovars are entitled, to which the Serbs are entitled and also to which the European public is entitled. The first conclusion is that maintaining the present in Kosovo is not an option, as this would be undesirable, very much so. Secondly, and whether we like it or not, it is inevitable that Kosovo will come to enjoy a certain form of independence, although the precise definition of it is open to debate. In my report, I have tried to summarise the effect this general position, this general conclusion will have in practice. In other words, what, according to this House, is the most desirable outcome of the deliberations in the Security Council about Kosovo’s status? Allow me to highlight a few key points. Kosovo must gain access to institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF in order to at last be able to tackle its economic problems and get its economy out of the doldrums. Secondly, Kosovo’s multi-ethnic character must be retained. This is, for the time being, best served by an international presence, both military and civil, the European Union, in other words. This leads me to conclude that the European Union has a key role to play once this status has been established. It is the European Union – we therefore – who have to ensure that the Kosovar authorities lead their country further towards a democratic multi-ethnic state that can eventually join the European Union, and, provided we are informed sufficiently and in good time, we in Parliament are prepared to make the necessary budget available for this role, for this task. Finally, Kosovo is a unique case on account of the NATO intervention in 1990, but particularly on account of the fact that that part of Serbia has been under UN administration for nearly eight years. This also means that solutions for the current situation, which are now being sought, are unique and cannot be used to solve conflicts elsewhere in the world. So far, probably the majority of this House are in agreement with me. What has happened in the past week, is that the discussion on this report has not focused on the content I have just outlined for you, but on the question of what label this desired situation should bear, in other words, of what word we want to use in order to describe this optimal situation following independence. Is it supervised independence, supervised sovereignty, or should we perhaps steer clear from using a label altogether? To those who wish to keep their own counsel for the time being about how this situation should be described, I should like to say that, as I see it, it is of the utmost importance that the European Union should speak with one voice and present a united front, not only here in Brussels, but also in the Security Council in New York and not least in this House. If we are agreed on the end goal, why not say so? This will impact favourably on the difficult deliberations in Brussels and New York and it makes it more difficult for Russia – the great challenger of eventual independence – to play the European Union’s Member States off against each other. Another argument against providing clarity right now is the question as to why it is we in this House who have to lead the way, as to why we should be the first European institution to be so clear about the final outcome, and on that subject, I should like to say that, since last Monday, someone else has been taking over the lead, namely Martti Ahtisaari, the Secretary-General’s special envoy, who said in his recommendation to the Security Council that ‘the status of Kosovo should be independence supervised by the international community’."@en1

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