North Kosovo 2020 – Future histories in the making

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Series Details May 2014
Publication Date 23/07/2014
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Despite the signing of the Brussels Agreement in 2013, many people in north Kosovo continue to reject integration with Kosovo. Kosovo remains divided, both physically and psychologically, beset by internal structural problems and external challenges. The EU-led dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia is perceived among different communities in Kosovo as a ‘black box’, imposing half-baked and impractical solutions behind closed doors.

This gap between policymaking and people impelled PAX and its project partners to prepare this report in order to discuss possible futures for north Kosovo, collect grassroots recommendations based on these, and stimulate discussion and understanding between policymakers and citizens. The result is a report consisting of four core parts: recommendations, view from the ground, scenarios, and drivers and pivotal issues.

The Recommendations are addressed to the dialogue teams, the governments of Kosovo and Serbia, the international community, and the municipalities in north Kosovo. They include grassroots recommendations based on discussions with people in north Kosovo held while preparing and reviewing the four future scenarios. These recommendations are directed to providing circumstances in which all communities living in north Kosovo see a future for themselves and their children.

The View from the Ground describes the views of people from north Kosovo and south Kosovo 1. The views among Kosovo’s northern residents reveal a strong sense of isolation and frustration with political processes, lack of basic services and unemployment. These frustrations are mirrored in south Kosovo.

The Scenarios describe four plausible futures for north Kosovo. These are not literal predictions and the actual future will probably combine elements of all four scenarios, labelled here: the horse and the water; transition; stalemate and resignation; and relapse.

The last part of this report consists of two sections,Drivers and Pivotal Issues. The section on Drivers describes the political, security, economic, and socio-cultural drivers of change leading up to 2020. The section on pivotal issues looks at the key issues that feed into these drivers in the sectors of water, power, education, the media and telecommunications, and heavy industry.

The purpose of the scenarios produced in this report is to enable decision makers to craft policies accounting for as many different options as possible; the scenarios may also enable citizens to take better informed action to shape their own future. No single scenario described trumps any other. Such an interpretation would be an injustice to the diversity of views held by the people consulted for this report. The scenarios are neither predictions nor linear forecasts of one future; rather, the actual real future will probably consist of elements of all four scenarios. Kosovan and Serbian policymakers, the international community and civil actors of all communities will need to exert commitment, effort and goodwill to avoid some of the negative implications of these scenarios in the pursuit of making north Kosovo a better place to live in 2020.

The grassroots recommendations after the Executive Summary offer suggestions for how to achieve this.

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ESO Country Information Guide: Kosovo

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