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  • Author: Julie Coleman
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: The small Western Balkan nation of Kosovo repatriated 110 citizens, including men, women, and children, in April 2019, making it one of a very small number of countries that has actively repatriated citizens involved with the Islamic State. This policy brief examines Kosovo’s response to the phenomenon of foreign fighters, how the return of foreign fighters and their families from Syria has been handled, and what has happened during the year since their return. What lessons can be learned by EU countries, including the Netherlands, in handling the complex issue of how to manage the return of foreign fighters and their families?
  • Topic: European Union, Citizenship, Foreign Fighters
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Balkans, Syria, Netherlands
  • Author: Jana Juzová
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Kosovo’s path towards visa liberalization started in 2012 when the European Commission submitted the Visa Liberalization Roadmap for Kosovo. This step was long awaited by the small country as all the other five Western Balkan states started the dialogue already in May and June 2008. At that time, it was still being decided inside EU member states whether they would recognize the newly declared state1 and it was clear that there is no consensus across the EU. As the united EU approach towards Kosovo proved to be a difficult and sensitive issue due to the concerns that opening visa dialogue would imply recognition, Kosovo was left out from the process. The length of the visa liberalization process differed among the Western Balkan countries. Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia progressed rather swiftly, and the dialogue was closed with the decision to lift the visa regime for these countries in late-2009. Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina had to wait one year longer as their readiness and fulfilment of conditions was evaluated as insufficient in 2009. Kosovo, lagging behind the rest of the region, opened the dialog with the EU in 2012, at the same time as Georgia. While Georgian citizens already reached a successful end of the process and are allowed to travel to the EU without visa since March 2017, it is still uncertain when Kosovo will achieve this objective.
  • Topic: Immigration, European Union, Borders, Visa
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Kosovo
  • Author: Filip Ejdus, Ana E. Juncos
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This think-piece discusses progress and needs in the area of SSR in the context of the new EU Strategy for the Western Balkans, reflecting specifically on the aspects of the EU’s Action Plan in support of the Transformation of the Western Balkans5 that are related to Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP)6.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Reform, European Union
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Balkans, European Union
  • Author: Zephyr Dessus, Albana Rexha, Albana Merja, Corina Stratulat
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: Ever since its declaration of independence in 2008, Kosovo has made European integration one of its key foreign policy objectives. Having made headway over the past years in its efforts to draw nearer to the European Union – most recently by signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU – Kosovo is now eager to take the next step in its EU integration process: to apply for EU membership and receive candidate status. However, with five member states still unwilling to recognise its statehood, Kosovo finds itself in a unique and difficult position regarding its eligibility to advance towards the EU and eventually accede to the European Union.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Kosovo