EUROPEAN FOREIGN POLICY SCORECARD 2015

Western Balkans

27 - Kosovo

Grade: B-
Unity 3/5
Resources 3/5
Outcome 6/10
Total 12/20
Scorecard 2012: B+ (15/20)
Scorecard 2013: A- (16/20)
Scorecard 2014: A- (17/20)

Kosovo was mired in a post-election political crisis for much of the year and the implementation of the Serbia-Kosovo agreement was halted.  

The momentum achieved in 2013 with the EU-facilitated agreement between Serbia and Kosovo was interrupted by elections in both Serbia and Kosovo. Both countries were also distracted by internal election processes and problems, including a challenge of the constitutionality of last year’s agreement before the Constitutional Court in Serbia, and an institutional crisis in Kosovo. The two could not resolve their differences on key power-sharing provisions of the agreement such as the Association of Serb Municipalities. Meanwhile, EU elections caused a long transition in Brussels. For all these reasons, this year saw virtually no progress in implementation and no relevant high-level initiatives, although technical talks continued. Northern Kosovo continued to witness sporadic violence.

In terms of European standards and reforms, Kosovo made limited progress in the fight against organised crime and corruption or on judicial reform. Discontent with corruption and impunity, exacerbated by economic stagnation, was one of the driving factors behind popular and student protests. Parliamentary elections took place in June, for the first time including the Serb-dominated North. The elections were followed by a parliamentary stalemate around the election of the speaker for the new Assembly, leading to institutional deadlock until a deal on government formation was finally reached in December.

The EU’s reputation suffered a blow with corruption allegations against EULEX, and Europeans, with the exception of Germany, failed to invest in sustaining the agreement of 2013. However, the EU succeeded in strengthening the framework for future reforms through the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, which was initialled in July. The EU’s Special Investigative Task Force completed its multi-year investigation in July and released its report citing “compelling evidence” of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army’s (KLA) leadership after the 1999 conflict. The case will be pursued in a Netherlands-based War Crimes Court, which will be established pending the relevant decisions by Kosovar institutions. Political figures in Pristina criticised the court’s legitimacy and the report’s findings.