Kosovo celebrated the tenth anniversary of its independence on February 17. However, the country continues to struggle, most recently over its demarcation treaty with Montenegro, which will officially set the border between Kosovo and Montenegro. The European Union clarified that the two neighboring countries need to negotiate the border they share if Kosovo wants to progress in the Schengen Zone visa-liberalization process.
However, Kosovo’s parliament found it difficult to ratify the demarcation treaty for several reasons. Some opposition parties like the Self-Determination party claimed Kosovo would lose territory and thus refused to vote for the treaty. On the other hand, several parties disagreed on supporting the treaty since the government had attached complementary documents that the parties considered to be controversial or unnecessary. Afrim Hoti, who teaches international law at the University of Pristina, said that the documents are for “internal consumption.” The Serbian List party also refused to vote to ratify the treaty, claiming it goes against the interests of Serbians in Kosovo.
It appeared that five of the parties in Kosovo have come to a consensus to vote for the demarcation treaty after postponing the parliamentary vote several times. However, the votes continues to be delayed.
However, finalizing the border issue with its neighbor does not mean that the EU will liberalize visas for Kosovars. The country also needs to work on its anti-corruption campaign. Kosovo’s journey to full independence has not yet ended as the youngest state in Europe struggles to meet EU requirements. Kosovo ultimately hopes to join the UN, NATO, and the EU in the future.