What to expect from the new Government of Kosovo in Foreign Policy?

Kosovo, 14th February 2021. Parliamentary elections. The results were a landslide victory for Vetëvendosje led by the former prime minister Albin Kurti and its coalition partner, Vjosa Osmani, former speaker of the parliament of Kosovo. This alliance won almost 50% of the total votes. It is the biggest win since the first elections held in 2001.[1]

Vjosa Osmani and Albin Kurti (photo: EuropeanWesternBalkans)
Kosovo (photo: Britannica)

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office.

The Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (KSC & SPO) is a court of Kosovo, located in The Hague (Netherlands). The court is currently set up for delegating the trials of the crimes committed by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA, Albanian: UÇK). The KLA is an ethnic-Albanian paramilitary organization that sought the separation of Kosovo from Yugoslavia during the 1990s and the eventual creation of a Greater Albania. The court was formally established in 2016.[2]

Serbia — Kosovo Dialogue

More than twenty years after the Kosovo War (1998–1999) led to Kosovo’s independence from Serbia, the two neighboring countries are in dispute. The debate serves neither one’s interests, and the resolution will need mutual concessions. However, the status quo is certainly better than an armed conflict. The international community has been trying for years to normalize relations between Belgrade and Pristina. The dispute excludes Kosovo from several international organizations (e.g., UN), hinders Serbia and Kosovo’s access to the EU, and endangers regional security. Resolving the conflict would have an extremely positive impact on the stability of the Western Balkans and Europe.

European Union

The question is to what extent the nationalist, presumably confrontational Kurti government will adapt to EU expectations. The first Kurti government (2020) tried to comply with the European Union, but time passed, and the coveted EU accession has not come any closer.

Conclusion

Kurti’s popularity, colossal election victory, and the need for change for Kosovo’s citizens could provide an initial impetus to the new government’s foreign policy activities. On the other hand, and although its foreign policy ideas are not yet known, the activities of the KSC, the coronavirus pandemic, and the economic difficulties will certainly narrow its options. Thus, the foreign policy of the new Kurti government may be explicitly adaptive in some areas and assertive in others.

international relations analyst