Examining NATO’s response: What kind of partnership with Kosovo?

Published by:

Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS)


Examining NATO’s response

What kind of partnership with Kosovo?/


Plator Avdiu


12 January  2017

NATO’s response to the Kosovo Government indicates a very small step in the prospective cooperation between Kosovo and NATO. As such, it is far from what Kosovo deserves, and it marks discrepancy with the claims of Kosovo institutions officials’ who announced this as a major step. Kosovo does automatically fulfil the professional and political conditions to join the Partnership for Peace programme, yet the political challenges as a result of four NATO member countries still not recognising Kosovo (namely Spain) will continue to weaken prospective positioning of Kosovo in this international organisation.

In 2017, NATO will start some form of cooperation with Kosovo. This was presented in an ambiguous letter, which was sent to Kosovo’s Prime Minister by NATO Secretary General in December 2016. The letter stated the formal commencement of Kosovo’s accession into some NATO’s programmes by balancing the existing mandate of KFOR/NATO presence with the need for gradual accession of Kosovo into NATO’s programmes. In other words, NATO already designed a framework of cooperation by enabling Kosovo’s involvement in certain programmes of the Alliance for state and nonstate institutions of Kosovo by marking for the first time Kosovo’s participation in NATO’s programmes and tools.

This policy brief aims to examine the Kosovo Government demands’ addressed to NATO’s highest political level as well as the response from NATO. However, the challenges remain due to rejection of four NATO member countries to recognize Kosovo’s statehood and neutral status approach of NATO towards Kosovo’s statehood. With a view to better understanding of NATO’s offered programmes to Kosovo, the paper will analyse each of the programmes indicated in the letter in order to provide an audience with better understanding of the prospective cooperation.