Kosovo is the youngest and one of the poorest countries in Europe. Its prospect for state building and economic development continue to be hampered also by limited international recognition of the independence. Like all other countries of the Western Balkans, Kosovo was given a pledge of integrating into the EU and joined others in the gradual pre-accession process. This is why five EU non-recognitions – by Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain (further referred to as EU5) – carry heavier weight than most others.
For many years, disagreement over Kosovo was one of the most flagrant examples of how difficult it is to operate a common EU foreign policy. Does signing of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with representatives of the Kosovo government on 27 October in Strasbourg signal an important shift in the respective positions of the EU non-recognizers, or merely illustrates the fact that the Brussels institutions found a way to go around them?
On Wednesday, 23 September 2015, CEPI in partnership with Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS) organized a public debate in Bratislava. The Slovak-Kosovar Dialogue presented an opportunity to discuss the current status of Kosovo’s association process with the EU, and to update on Kosovo’s relations with the five EU non-recognizers, including Slovakia.
Although it will be very difficult to match the public hype of her predecessor’s mediation, it is crucial for the new EU High Representative Federica Mogherini to revive the momentum to obtain meaningful progress in the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue. This policy paper1 lays out several specific options for the EU to nudge the sides towards cooperation and true rapprochement.
The Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group, a co-operation project with the aim to promote European integration of the Western Balkans and the consolidation of democratic, open countries in the region, which has among its members CEPI executive director Milan Nič, released a policy paper on 16th May elaborating 4 scenarios of how the EU integration can play out for the Western Balkan countries.
As the first anniversary of the Brussels Agreement comes around in April, northern Kosovo has yet to reach a new balance. It remains in transitory limbo, subject to pulling-and-tugging that has both security and political implications. This paper analyses the bleak outlook for implementing the agreement during 2014, with looming elections in Serbia, Kosovo and the EU.
NATO has been the key provider of security in Kosovo, since it entered the war in 1999. Fifteen years later, its presence in Kosovo is decreasing as the local authorities and the EU assume more responsibility. What is expected to happen in 2014, Central European Policy Institute’s expert, Milan Nič, explains.