Security and Defence

Policy briefs

Kosovo’s NATO future

09 Dec 2020 - 15:46
Source: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visits KFOR (Kosovo Force) in Pristina in 2020 / NATO
How to Square the Circle?

This policy brief examines how ties between Kosovo and NATO can be strengthened. The fact that Serbia and four NATO member states do not recognize Kosovo’s independence, has hampered further integration into international organisations. The authors delineate possible political and military steps that Kosovo could take in the short and medium term, in order to prepare itself as a credible future partner. The Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue is the ultimate challenge for Kosovo in the long term and until a deal is reached, NATO integration is unlikely.

Pristina has to be aware of the military-political equation, where every major military change could have political repercussions. Nonetheless, Kosovo can already commit to necessary reforms of its democratic system. Kosovo should also try to create ways of strengthening ties to the Alliance under the current circumstances, by for instance explicitly asking to establish a political dialogue. Vice versa, NATO could consider deepening cooperation within the ‘enhanced cooperation framework’. Through this interaction, the Alliance could aid Kosovo in reforming its political system, which would create a smoother path for Kosovo’s future integration aspirations.

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