Kosova’s new Constitution was adopted by the Kosova parliament this week, which is expected to enter into force on 15 June and will pave the way for Kosova and the EU to take over from the United Nations Mission that has administered Kosova since the end of the Balkans conflict in 1999.
The Constitution is based largely on the proposals that were drawn up by the UN’s Special Envoy, Martti Ahtisaari (former President of Finland) in March 2007. It recognises the
The influence of the
Arriving at our hotel we were greeted with independence – it is what everyone was speaking about Right now achieving independence was all that mattered. There seemed to be great optimism about the future with high expectations and an understanding that there is no going back to where Kosovo was in 1999.
There are certainly many challenges facing Kosova, not least the position and treatment of the 120,000 Serbs living in the North and South of the country. Economic investment in Kosova is very low because of the uncertainty over the current political situation and there is much that will need to be done by both the EU and the international community to help the Kosovan government develop its economy, build the necessary infrastructure and encourage foreign business to invest. An international donor conference is planned for June 2008 to discuss priorities and key areas of need.
Likewise, a central tenet in the Kosovan government’s national agenda is the longer term goal of EU membership. Kosova is already part of the EU’s Stabilisation and Association process. A key challenge will be to ensure national laws respect the EU acquis communitaire to fulfil European standards and obligations.
Interestingly, Kosova (like
Since Kosova’s declaration of independence on 17 February there has been much mischief making by some commentators that Kosovo could end
36 countries have so far recognised Kosovo’s independence, including the UK, France, Germany, Latvia, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Estonia, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia,
In contrast to its failure to act during the 1999 conflict, the EU recognises that the future of the Western Balkans lies within the EU and that