SEFTA 'The New Proposal for Cooperation in the Western Balkans'

January 2022

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Regional cooperation in the Balkans is accompanied by a deep mistrust between states. Various initiatives initiated by the European Union or EU members, have installed various mechanisms to facilitate regional relations and maximize benefits for all participating countries. However, this has often not been the case. This Policy Note analyzes in a comparative context the government proposal with the existing economic cooperation agreement. Meanwhile, it provides an overview of how the new proposal would work, in the normative framework.

An Overview of Policies and Efforts on P/CVE in the Western Balkans

December 2021

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The aim of this policy analysis is to shed light on how the six Western Balkan countries dealt with preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE). It is intended to be the first of a series of analysis on the issue. While this paper will focus on specific country initiatives and actor-based analysis, the upcoming publications will provide a regional statistical outlook concerning the phenomenon of foreign fighters, including the repatriation and reintegration initiatives, convictions, as well as the challenges faced by the six Western Balkan countries.

The Economic Normalisation Agreements and Foreign Policy Implications for Kosovo and Serbia

December 2021

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1 year has passed since the signing of the Washington agreement for economic normalization between Kosovo and Serbia.

PIPS has evaluated and analyzed the implementation of 5 key points from this agreement as follows:
(1) designation of Hezbollah as a whole as a terrorist organization
(2) participation in Mini-Schengen (Open Balkans)
(3) compliance with the moratorium which suspended Kosovo's applications for membership in international organizations
(4) mutual recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel for Kosovo, namely the relocation of the Embassy in Jerusalem for Serbia; and
(5) working with other countries to promote the decriminalization of homosexuality

Kosovo has met 4 of these points, while Serbia only 2 of them.

This publication clarifies the political context and the actions taken by both parties to realize these points.

Disinformation in the Western Balkan countries and the necessity for a firm response

November 2021

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In our latest paper, PIPS analyzed Kosovo's approach and its role in the global fight against misinformation. Similar to other parts of the globe, in recent years the Western Balkans has seen an increase in disinformation and hybrid wars.

In the Western Balkans, the main purposes of fake news include, among other things, undermining the legitimacy and sovereignty of Kosovo's statehood, changing the narratives of war and war crimes, and undermining the West's credibility regarding state-building in Kosovo. News about Kosovo, in addition to being a dominant topic in the Serbian media, is often the subject of inaccurate reporting. Narratives spread by biased media also focus on weakening support for Euro-Atlantic institutions.

Such developments are an obstacle to regional integration and cooperation, which is why in this policy analysis PIPS has listed opportunities and recommendations for the government of Kosovo and the EU to address this phenomenon.

The beginning of an ERA!

October 2021

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The European Union and Kosovo agreed to start the second phase of the European Reform Agenda (ERA II) in order to continue the implementation of the SAA. As a result, the Hoti government approved the ERA II priorities on 19 October 2020. After consultations with CSOs, implementing institutions and the European Commission, the two-year action plan for ERA II was initially approved in principle by the Ministerial Council for European Integration. In May 2021 and was subsequently approved by the new Kurti government on 11 August.

Given the importance that ERA II now has on the path to EU integration, it is critical to overcome the previously experienced obstacles, to avoid falling into the same traps and experiencing the same delays. Prishtina Institute for Political Studies presents an overview of the implementation of ERA 1 and recommendations which can improve the overall implementation of ERA II in this publication.

Kosova as a rational actor in international society - The case of countering violent extremism

September 2021

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Is Kosovo a rational actor and a responsible member of the international democratic community?

In the latest paper, PIPS analyzed Kosovo's approach and role in the global fight against violent extremism.

The publication sheds light on examples and cases that show that:
In the global fight against violent extremism, Kosovo has demonstrated itself as a rational actor, taking responsibility for the repatriation and reintegration of its citizens from the areas;
Kosovo institutions have shown capacity to take on and fulfill global commitments that contribute to international peace and security;
Kosovo enjoys religious tolerance but international media reporting has created the impression that the country is ravaged by religious radicalization and extremism;
Furthermore, Kosovo has identified ethno-political radicalization as detrimental to its stability, peace and security.

Kosovo's membership in the Adriatic Charter: What are the odds?

September 2021

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The Adriatic Charter (A-5) is one of the main regional security initiatives in the region of Southeast Europe, thus helping the member states' goal of achieving NATO and EU integration. The Adriatic Charter consists of Albania, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kosovo was the last country to gain observer status in the A-5 in 2012, and its bid to become a full member in 2014 failed due to Bosnia and Herzegovina's veto.

Therefore, what are the odds that Kosovo can join the Adriatic Charter?

Our latest publication explains the benefits, opportunities and obstacles for Kosovo's full membership in the Adriatic Charter.

To what extent is the Vetëvendosje electoral program integrated into the Government Program?

September 2021

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This report analyzes the level of integration of electoral promises in the government plan, consequently stressing the importance of the feasibility and accountability in regards to electoral promises.

For the first time since 1999, Vetëvendosje's electoral results scale, allowed a political party in Kosovo to form a government with the sole support of non-majority political parties.

This short report discusses the content of the Government Program of the Republic of Kosovo 2021-2025, in relation to the electoral program of Vetëvendosje. The results show that the highest group of these promises are not integrated in the government program, comprising a figure of about 48%. The report was compiled as part of the project 'Strengthening Transparency and Accountability for Reforms" supported by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kosovo.

The data were selected and categorized by the FOL Movement, while the report was prepared by the Prishtina Institute for Political Studies (PIPS).
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