EUROPEAN FOREIGN POLICY SCORECARD 2016

Western Balkans

33 - Kosovo

Grade: B
Unity 3/5
Resources 4/5
Strategy 2/5
Impact 4/5
Total 13/20
Scorecard 2015: B- (12/20)
Scorecard 2014: A- (17/20)
Scorecard 2013: A- (16/20)
Scorecard 2012: B+ (15/20)

The EU continued to provide substantial aid to Kosovo, but the lack of clarity on its status continued to harm stability 

EU-facilitated talks between Kosovo and Serbia resumed in February after a ten-month hiatus, due to delays forming a government in Prishtina. High Representative Federica Mogherini, like her predecessor, has engaged personally in mediation between the two sides. This resulted in several agreements in 2015 on, among other things, the judiciary, telecoms, and the establishment of the Association/Community of Serb majority municipalities.

The agreements sparked a political crisis in Kosovo, as the opposition considered that the agreements undermined Kosovo’s independence. There were violent protests and several instances of tear gas being used in the Assembly itself. In November, Kosovo’s constitutional court suspended the implementation of the agreement on municipalities pending a full examination of its legality.

The signing of the SAA in October was a significant step for Kosovo on its path to accession. The SAA is expected to enter into force in the first half of 2016, once the European Parliament gives its consent. The Commission recommended in December that Kosovo receive visa liberalisation once it meets a further eight criteria and takes measures to stem the flow of economic migrants to the EU. This may also happen in early 2016.

In 2015, the EU continued to dedicate substantial resources to Kosovo in terms of financial aid, making it one of the top recipients of EU assistance in the world. The EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) is also the largest civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission, with a staff of 1,500.

Notwithstanding the resources dedicated to Kosovo, the EU still remains split on its status eight years after the declaration of independence. The lack of full clarity on this issue at an international level is detrimental to the country’s stability and development, as evidenced by the violent protests, and detracts energy from the real issues of reform in the region.