The Road is Rocky - Kosovo's Euro-Atlantic Illusions
BRUSSELS / PRISTINA — Poor governance and slow economic growth continue to be major obstacles in the process of the Euro-Atlantic integration of western Balkan countries. This is the outcome of a report, which the British politician John Sewel, in his function of the Rapporteur for the Committee on Economics and Security, presented to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on 30th. May: "The road ... is rocky, and only Croatia seems close to achieving the basic qualifications to that end."
Insofar it concerns Kosovo, Dr. Sewel addresses "in short" its "real economic story": According to his findings Kosovo suffers from "the ongoing weaknesses of its institutions, the failure of its governing elite to breach the ethnic divide, the twin problems of corruption and organized crime … poor relations with Serbia and sometimes difficult relations with … Macedonia. Its weak economy cannot be expected to take off".
Against this background Sewel concludes that Kosovo's "European ambitions will never be fulfilled until these issues are squarely addressed."
UK representative Sewel reminds, that "the International Court of Justice ... has recently reaffirmed the country’s legal status as a sovereign nation, ruling that its February 2008 declaration of independence did not violate international law." Nevertheless he also remarks that "the state ... confronts consistent challenges to its legitimacy launched by the Serbian state and from a sizeable Serbian minority." Due to the ongoing dispute with Serbia, Kosovo doesn't "meet the core Copenhagen criteria of enjoying fixed borders and good neighborly relations".
In direction to Serbia and the former Yugoslavia the report states that "many of Kosovo’s most serious economic problems arise from the very apparent deficiencies in its institutional structure and political culture both of which are partly the product of decades of political marginalization, occupation and finally war."Continued on the next page