[This article is published in the European Voice 26 April - 2 May 2007]
The EU is facing risks over Kosovo: there is a stalemate in the UN Security Council, a division within the EU and not a slight sign of Serbia accepting Martti Ahtisaari's plan on cutting Kosovo away from it.
The special UN Security Council mission to Kosovo will undoubtedly see what has been largely downplayed in the "pinkish" reports drafted by Pristina-based UN chiefs: only 5 percent of the 220,000 Serbs expelled by Albanian extremists from Kosovo have returned, while Serbs living in the shameful, heavy-guarded enclaves lack freedom of movement and express mostly fear and mistrust.
This could also be a good eye-opener for Brussels. The EU has greatly lost in leverage in the last several months: the Kosovo Albanians look at Washington to lead a diplomatic "blitzkrieg" on their behalf, while Serbia and the Kosovo Serbs have found in Moscow a reliable partner ready to oppose an imposed secession.
One thing is now clear: there will be no UN Security Council resolution based on the core of Ahtisaari's proposal because there is simply no agreement on why Kosovo should be the first case in the 62-year long history of the UN in which the body legitimizes a dismemberment of a member country.
Repeating the senseless mantra about Kosovo's "uniqueness" will not fly, while warning about Kosovo Albanians going ballistic if they do not get what they want only reinforces the argument that they are not ready for self-governance let alone statehood.
Ahtisaari's proposal is unfortunately by no means a compromise, unless your definition of a compromise involves a shameful trade off: human rights for territory.
Respect for international law, for recognized borders of Serbia and for the need of the Kosovo Albanian majority to rule itself would get the UNSC to adopt a resolution, the EU to stay united and take its responsibilities in Kosovo. This will bring Pristina and Belgrade firmly on the road to the EU.
Otherwise, it is back to square one on the thin line.