TEN YEARS OF STATEHOOD: What are 10 successes and 10 failures that marked the first decade of Independence?

April 10, 2018

Photo credit: Rasha. on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

For Kosovo, 2018 constitutes a jubilee year. It has declared its independence from Serbia on the 17th of February 2008 and the decade-long journey of one of the youngest state in the world has seen its ups and downs. Categorised in successes and failures, this paper summarizes the main developments that took place during these first ten years.

The finding of 10 developments that can qualify as successes was a challenge in its self. Nevertheless, such developments are encountered mainly during the first years of the state. It is understandable that the act of declaring its independence constitutes the greatest achievement for Kosovo, but it was meaningful only after the recognition that came from the most powerful Western countries and by more than half of the United Nations member countries.

A milestone was marked with the opinion of the International Court of Justice that the declaration of independence was not in violation of the international law. The Stabilization and Association Agreement, the first contractual relationship that Kosovo has with the European Union is also well ranked on the list of greatest developments. The country holds two white records in the region: For increased rights for minority communities and severe policies against violent extremism and terrorism.

It has been easy to identify failures that have occurred over the decade. There have been many of these and the selection of only 10 of them has been a challenge in its self. Top of the list of major failures is the dialogue with Serbia, a process through which Kosovo made its northern neighbour a factor in dealing with many topics that should be internal affairs of the new state. The process slowed down the strengthening of international subjectivity. In the other hand Kosovo did not manage to follow the pace that other countries of the region had in progressing towards EU, and consequently, it does not have a clear European perspective, and its citizens are stuck in the ghetto, being the only ones in Europe that cannot travel visa-free in the Schengen area.

The new State holds black records in the region for a number of problems. It has the most underdeveloped economy and the highest unemployment. In addition, there is also corruption in the boil. There was stagnation in many sectors, and most noticeable are in health and education. On the other hand, being influenced by politics, the justice system is far from fulfilling its mission.

This Policy Note constitutes a summary of telegraphic data on developments and major events that occurred in the first decade of the state of Kosovo. It’s a catalogue of summarizing information. Intentionally, the minimum is commented and analyzed on the factual data that are being offered.

For the Albanian version, please click here.

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