Symposium on the Final Status of Kosovo,
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois,
16 and 17 April 2004
What can be said from the current situation is
that the current, undetermined status of Kosovo, is
reflecting the whole region, in particular Kosovo’s neighbors, including
This influence of the Kosovo status is reflected
and will be reflected in
On the outside form the influence of the undetermined
status can be seen in the fact that the country leadership of Macedonia has
no clear and coherent policy toward Kosovo, in the first place because they
do not know clearly if Kosovo will become an independent country or only
a part of another entity, which will be represented an decided upon by Belgrade
(Serbia). The support for any of these two possibilities threatens with grave relations with
one of the two neighbors of
The political and legal status of Kosovo, the
current and the eventual one, influences
The international community is opposing the partition
of Kosovo and other countries in the region on ethnic lines. But lately the
The resolution of the status of Kosovo through
partition on ethnic lines would have its greatest and heaviest impact on
Therefore an ethnic partition of Kosovo, no matter eventual efforts by the international community to control it, can bring a chain reaction of worsening the security situation in the whole region.
Although it is not directly linked with the issue of the status of Kosovo another fact which can remind on the link between the status of Kosovo and the stability of Macedonia is the problem with the demarcation of the border between Kosovo and Macedonia, on which Macedonia is insisting after an agreement it has made with the official Belgrade. Albanian villagers on both sides of the border have protested for practical reasons – their lands passing on the other side of the border and the difficulties on movement – this problem has proven much greater implications. Demarcation of this borderline has remained a hostage to the status of Kosovo and a potential threat for the security in the region.
On the other hand the resolution of Kosovo’s
status as a whole entity, without a full or powerful division on ethnic lines,
would also strengthen the unity of
After the conflict in 2001, Macedonian country leaders, including the President of the current Government, have changed the approach toward a unified Macedonian state, by creating a coalition with Albanian parties created by former rebels, creating hope that Macedonia’s future is the sincere cohabitation, the inclusion of the Albanians in the state and other institutions, in proportion with their number, and hope for the recognition of the Albanian language as a second official language.
The international community should have a same approach for the equality of the ethnicities in the region, in order not to create frustration on the inter-ethnic equality.
A hypothetical possibility for the resolution
of the status of Kosovo is the putting of Kosovo under the authority of
The current unresolved status of Kosovo is having
Based on all this one can conclude that the status of Kosovo is attracting complications in regional issues. Kosovo neighbors have a interest to be included in the result of the eventual talks on the final status of Kosovo, but this does not mean that they have to be invited in those talks. The impact of Kosovo’s status or borders on its neighbors in the past, but also in the present, is used as an excuse against major changes in the status of Kosovo. But it is the denial of the independence of Kosovo the position, which is endangering the region. Independence would make possible Kosovo’s functionality and development.
Kosovo, as an independent entity, can be conditioned on its political and economical activities in the international scene by the international community with the demand that is respects the borders of its neighbors and builds with them good relations and cooperation toward the joint integration of the region in Euro-Atlantic structures. Kosovo can also be conditioned with the demand that all the communities in Kosovo, Serbs in the first place, are entitled to proper rights and be happy with their position. These conditions should be monitored carefully by international organizations. And up to a more significant fulfillment of these demands the security of Kosovo should remain for unlimited time in the hands of NATO, but also should be guaranteed by NATO.
The independence of Kosovo without any conditions, however, creates a legal base for a more fruitful and quicker cooperation between the independent Kosovo and the international community.
Kosovo’s leadership and people, as those in other countries in the region, are aware that Kosovo has to fulfill a dozen of conditions in order to join the European family and the international community, something which should eventually happen.
(The author is a professor at the University of Pristina, School of Law, in Pristina, Kosovo and has a Ph.D. in Civil Law.)
 Kosovo has its administrative borders, which according to the Constitution of the 1974 (changed by then Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic in 1989), could not be changed without the approval of Kosovo.