Kosovo’s regional cooperation and EU Integration - Kosovo citizen’s perspective

Published by:

Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS)

Title:

Kosovo’s regional cooperation and EU Integration

Kosovo citizen’s perspective

Date:

March 2021

The Kosovo Security Barometer (KSB) is a distinctive tool through which Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS) measures public perceptions in Kosovo on the trust in institutions and various security-related issues, including the regional cooperation and the EU integration. In its tenth edition, KSB has taken a regional dimension and marks the first edition of the Western Balkans Security Barometer (WBSB) implemented simultaneously in Kosovo and Serbia in September-October 2020. 1 This report examines the perceptions of Kosovar respondents on the following issues: i) Kosovo’s bilateral cooperation, cross-border cooperation and regional security, and ii) attitudes of Kosovars towards the EU membership process.

Key findings:

• The survey data show that political influences of Albania (82 percent) and Croatia (62 percent) towards Kosovo are perceived most positively by respondents, and are thus the friendliest Western Balkan partners of Kosovo.

• Serbia is perceived most negatively in Kosovo compared to other regional countries – around 90 percent of respondents viewed its political influence as very negative or mostly negative.

• Around 59 percent of respondents would disagree to receive assistance from security institutions of Serbia in case of an emergency or natural/humanitarian disaster in Kosovo.

• With regards to the police cooperation between Kosovo and Serbia, around 31 percent of respondents are discontented compared to 36 percent who consider it satisfactory. It is worth highlighting that 32 percent of respondents had no information on whether Kosovo Police and Serbian Police do cooperate.

• Only 35 percent of Kosovars perceived the joint border police patrolling between Kosovo Police and Serbian Police as being good, despite the fact that the Kosovo-Serbia technical agreement on internal border management has been reached within the EU-facilitated dialogue ten years ago.

• With regards to the EU membership, Kosovars are among the biggest supporters in the Western Balkans of the EU integration – with 92 percent in total being supportive of Kosovo’s membership to the EU.

• More than ¾ of the respondents (77 percent) are optimistic that the EU is interested in admitting Kosovo as its Member State in the future.

• The main reason behind the lack of EU’s visa-free regime for the Kosovo citizens, according to 65 percent of respondents, is attributed to discrimination and prejudice from some of the EU Member States towards Kosovo.

• Almost half of the respondents (48 percent) perceived the widespread of corruption and organized crime activities as the most challenging issues for Kosovo’s membership to the EU. The current dialogue with Serbia falls on the second place – with only 12 percent of respondents listing it as a challenge for the EU membership.

This report is published in the framework of the regional project "Western Balkans Security Barometer" supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The views presented in this report are perceptions of the respondents and do not necessarily represent the views of Kosovar Centre for Security Studies and Belgrade Centre for Security Policy. Opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).