Kosovo's european future
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Kosovo's european future
After the Yugoslav civil war, the European Union tried to establish a period of peace and stability within the Western Balkan area. With the help of the European Union many Western Balkan countries were able to develop themselves and join the European Union. Nevertheless, Kosovo1 remained unstable and dependent on EU’s aid. Despite Kosovo’s numerous challenges, Kosovo still aspire a future within the European Union and recently made great progress to become an official EU candidate state. The central research question in this research paper is: “How can Kosovo facilitate the process from currently being a potential candidate state to becoming a candidate state within the EU’s enlargement process?” A qualitative approach has been applied within this research. The qualitative research was based on, both, desk research for the literature review and field research for primary data collection. For the desk research, books, e-journals, reports and policy papers were consulted. For the field research, semi-structured interviews with four participants were conducted. This study intended to examine how Kosovo might be able to develop from a potential candidate state to a candidate state. This research makes clear that Kosovo is not ready to facilitate the process to become a candidate state any time soon. In addition, since politics are becoming more important in today’s world, Kosovo’s European future not only depends on Kosovo itself. Due to the EU’s internal problems, Kosovo’s integration process is pushed to the long term agenda. Moreover, Serbia and Russia are major obstacles for Kosovo to develop as an independent state as well. Nevertheless, Kosovo itself has to face numerous challenges as well, which cannot be solved at once. The challenges which are addressed in this research include; corruption and organised crime, Kosovo’s civil society, Kosovo’s disputed international status and Kosovo’s relationship with Serbia. The willingness to integrate from both EU’s and Kosovo’s perspectives is seen as an overarching factor that is connected to all abovementioned challenges. A remarkable result of this study is that the EU succeeded in their main priority to keep Kosovo stable and peaceful. However, due to the priority to keep Kosovo stable, the EU did not address the elites in Kosovo and therefore could not get a grasp on corrupt practices in the country. Further research to the progress that both Kosovo and the EU has made when the EU’s enlargement fatigue no longer applies in 2020, might eventually lead to a more specific vision on how Kosovo could facilitate the step to become a candidate member state.