On Saturday 17 February, Republic of Kosovo celebrates the 10th anniversary of its independence. In a decade, the state has built its institutions and a parliamentary system, which does have numerous shortcomings.
The lack of political stability, problems with the judicial system, poor educational system, an noncompetitive economy, are some of the challenges that the young state is facing in its path toward European and Atlantic structures.
During this journey, Kosovo has often been criticized by different international organizations about the high level of corruption, which the justice system is failing to tackle.
Ministers and senior representatives of the institutions of Kosovo have often been accused of stealing public money, but they have never been held accountable.
The Public Agency for Corruption reveals that in a short period of time, the majority of the country’s politicians have become millionaires, while the source of their money is not known.
But this is not the only thing. Kosovo’s economy is not doing well either. According to official statistics, over 80% of products and goods come from the countries of the region and the European Union. Unfortunately, only 10% of national products are present in the country’s market, while 10% are smuggled goods. Kosovo’s economy doesn’t rely on production and it is not competitive. This is making Kosovo’s integration in the European family hard, while forcing youngsters to travel to Europe in search of a better future.
Within a matter of years, the lack of employment has led to over 10% of the population to emigrate abroad.
During these years of independence, Kosovo has managed to have excellent relations with the neighboring countries, except Serbia and recently, it has also faced the problem concerning the demarcation line with Montenegro.
Kosovo has an excellent cooperation with Albania FYROM and Montenegro, while it is holding a process of dialogue with Serbia in order to normalize relations.
Although in this aspect there have been many challenges and disagreements, the two countries have managed to sign a large number of agreements, which are meant to facilitate life for citizens in both countries.
The current dialogue, brokered by the EU, has been suspended in numerous occasions due to tensions and incidents in the north of Kosovo, a territory which de facto is being governed by Serb parallel structures and which continues to be a source of crises.
State leaders of both countries have once again pledged that dialogue will continue, while Kosovan side requests a mutual recognition at the end of this process.
Besides failures in many aspects, Kosovo has also registered successes. Kosovo is the only country in the region with the biggest advancement in the area of minorities’ rights, who also have reserved seats in Parliament and other institutions.
Kosovo is the only country in the region which recognizes the language of the Serb minority as an official language, although based on the official statistics, it only accounts of 6% of the population.
The country has also offered a precious contribution in regional incentives for peace and stability in the Balkan region.
Over half of Kosovo’s population is at a young age and this has led to very good results in sport. Excellent results have been registered in judo, where Kosovo has managed to snatch a world and European title. /balkaneu.com/