Mediation Through Recontextualization: The European Union and The Dialogue Between Kosovo and Serbia

Publication Date: 
12 July 2017
Wolters Kluwer
Appearing in: 
European Foreign Affairs Review

The EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina has been hailed as a major achievement for the European Union’s (EU) foreign policy as well as for the ‘European future’ of Kosovo and Serbia, since it started in 2011. Looking at EU discourse – speeches, statements and press releases – this article problematizes the logic of the dialogue, its aims in the process and its outcomes. Using the framework of ‘recontextualization’, developed by Van Leeuwen and Wodak, we explore how the EU is substituting elements of the dialogue and adding elements that are not intrinsic to the process, which then create ambiguities which we problematize. We argue that ambiguities are not limited merely to the outputs of the dialogue, such as agreements, but they also obscure the very meaning of the dialogue for the EU, for Kosovo and Serbia, as well as for EU’s relations with both countries.