European Parliament Vice President Ulrike Lunacek said she is certain that Serbia will not join the European Union until it first recognizes Kosovo.
"I am one of a few high-ranking politicians of the EU who insist that the recognition of Kosovo is a condition for Serbia," said Lunacek on the sidelines of a Civil Society Forum in Belgrade on May 12.
Lunacek is the parliament's rapporteur for Kosovo, but she emphasized that she is not Serbia's enemy. She said she is fond of the country and believes it has made considerable progress toward EU accession.
Lunacek said she expects Serbia's path to the EU to be blocked not because of her own objections but because of the EU's experience with Cyprus.
The EU in 2004 approved the accession of Cyprus, a country that she noted had no clearly defined boundaries because of the Turkish occupation of the north. Since that time, Cyprus has blocked Turkey's bid to join the EU because of their territorial dispute.
Lunacek appeared to be suggesting that the same sequence might occur with Serbia and Kosovo, which Belgrade still regards as a part of Serbia but which appears to be first in line to join the EU.