There are in fact successes in implementing the provisions of the Ahtisaari Plan such as the creation of new Kosovo Serb majority municipalities, decentralization, protection of religious and cultural heritage, adoption of national symbols, flag, and anthem reflecting its multi-ethnic character, the establishment of a multi-ethnic Kosovo Police (KP), and gradual inclusion of non-majority communities in public institutions. Therefore, it is very likely that the official ending of Kosovo’s supervised independence will be celebrated. People in Kosovo as well as those abroad will be told of the “immense achievements” of the new state and its international supervisors.

According to the authors, KIPREDs Director, Mr. Ilir Deda, and the institute’s Senior Researcher, Mr. Shpend Kursani this celebration will miss Kosovo’s real problems: it remains divided internally and with limited legitimacy internationally. Besides that in general there is a lack of implementation of the passed legislation, Kosovo has deep problems with basic democratic functioning. The northern part remains de-facto divided, a situation which risks undermining all the successes in the south. The state security and the fight against corruption and organized crime will continue to rely on bodies whose mandates derive from the 1999 UN Security Council Resolution 1244, KFOR and EULEX respectively. The closure of the International Civilian Office therefore, will not translate into the ending and the transfer of competences from the respective international military and rule of law missions to Kosovo authorities, Kosovo Security Force (KSF) and the GoK respectively, as the Ahtisaari Plan foresaw. These international missions and their eventual fate will be decided upon the changes to the Resolution 1244, which depend on Russia, whose eventual decisions depend on Serbia’s will and its position towards Kosovo.

The appointed international staff by the International Civilian Representative will still remain present in the country’s most important public institutions. Finally, due to the lack of commitment by the sponsors of the supervised independence, Kosovos international legitimacy has come to rely more on Serbia and the “normalization of relations” with Belgrade, than on its international supervisors who were responsible for this. Strategically, Kosovo lacks prospects for joining NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, and remains without contractual relations with the European Union (EU) – from which not only reforms but also security and stability of the country depend on.

More importantly, the European Union has not found a way how to include Kosovo in a European accession agenda, due to five non-recognizers. The EU cannot sign contractual agreements with non-states, and needs consensus of all the member states to proceed with signing contractual agreements. By not being able to convince its own members to recognize Kosovo, the EU cannot fully use its leverage over Prishtina. This way, Kosovo is placed in a position to seek normalization of relations with Serbia, hoping that this “new relationship” would lead to EU non-recognizers changing their position towards the status of Kosovo, which would result in more recognitions globally and eventual membership in the UN and other relevant international organizations. The lessons learned from Serbia position on and ventures against Kosovo during latest technical dialogue, however, do not leave much room for such hopes to materialize.

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