EU Membership Process of Kosovo

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Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s statement that “Kosovo will apply for European Union (EU) membership this week,[1] caused the debate in the region to the peak. Because the President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani called the application “a historical moment.”[2]  It shows that the EU has an important position in Kosovo. In fact, the messages about EU membership come from the executive wing of Kosovo; it is based on some crises in the past, and the resolution of these crises is also associated with the membership process by Pristina.

Kosovo’s application for full EU membership has been on the agenda since May 2022. The first statement on the subject came from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo. In this context, it would be useful to consider the messages given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Donika Gervalla-Schwarz.[3]

Expressing that 90% of the public supports the membership of the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), there is good news that cooperation agreements will be made with other international partners. The fact that Kosovo is an example of democracy with the title of the youngest country in Europe creates the idea that the process will result in the rapid approval of the EU. However, there are several obstacles to Kosovo’s EU membership, and the “Serbia Issue” comes first among these obstacles. As it is known, after Kosovo declared independence unilaterally in 2008, Serbia did not recognize this country.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić stated that he was pressured by Brussels; however, he stated that he did not trust any EU member, especially Germany, regarding Kosovo.[4] In this context, it can be stated that Serbia’s refusal to recognize Kosovo is the biggest obstacle for the Pristina administration on its way to the EU. Despite this, the EU’s official website with the subtitle “Foreign Issues” announced that they are in the final stage of the agreement envisaging the normalization of Serbia-Kosovo relations.[5]

Considering that the announcement of the agreement, which is said to have reached its final stage, was made in 2017, it can be argued that no progress has been made in the Serbia-Kosovo tension for the last five years. The Union will recognize the legitimacy of Kosovo with its accession to the EU and will open a new door for the regional states, which are especially afraid of Russia.

Another dimension of the issue is the relationship of the EU with African countries. The colonial hatred of African peoples towards Europe may be softened by the EU’s “democracy leadership” role over Kosovo. In fact, the message that the EU will give over Kosovo will be an important message to all Eastern civilizations, especially to Africa.

In addition to wanting to include Kosovo, the EU is also considering the accession of Serbia, which gained the status of a candidate country in 2012. The country, which has made significant progress in adapting to the EU membership processes, comes to the fore with the claims that it will become a member in 2025. Here, it can be argued that the Kosovo-Serbia conflict is more against Kosovo. Although the general opinion about the membership status is that Serbia is victimizing Kosovo, the meeting of the EU High Representative for Foreign Relations and Security Policy Josep Borrell in Brussels after the plate crisis with the leaders of the two countries says the opposite of this opinion.[6] Because after the meeting, Borrell stated that although the proposals for the solution to the license plate crisis were accepted by Vučić many times, Kurti rejected the proposals. Therefore, it is stated that Kosovo acts hastily and unplanned regarding the license plate change.

The failure to resolve the license plate crisis, because of Kosovo’s uncompromising policies, led to the resignation of Serbs residing in Kosovo, who make up about 6% of the population, and the start of protests.[7] These layoffs and protests invite a new war in the region.

Currently, it does not seem possible for the EU to act on the same plane as Kosovo. Especially with the recent developments, it is seen that Kosovo and Serbia have moved away from the ground of reconciliation and peace. On the other hand, Serbia’s candidacy, which is said to be accepted by 2025, is not at the same distance as Kosovo and seems quite far away. On the other hand, it can be said that Kosovo has given some implicit messages by applying for candidacy. Because the application in question is an important indication that Kosovo has completely turned its face towards Europe.

Vučić’s alleged close ties with Russia make it easier for Kosovo to act with Europe against the Serbian-Russian bloc.[8] In fact, Kosovo’s unwillingness to stand alone against the Russia-Serbia duo has also been influential in bringing its application for full membership to the EU to the agenda.

[1]  Alice Taylor, “Kosovo to Sign EU Membership Application on Thursday”, EURACTIV,, (Date of Accession: 14.12.2022).

[2] “President Osmani Calls Kosovo’s EU Membership Application a Historic Moment”, Schengen Visa,, (Date of Accession: 14.12.2022).

[3] “Kosovo PM Says the Country Will File EU Membership Application by Year’s End”, Schengen Visa,, (Date of Accession: 14.12.2022).

[4] “Vucic: I’m Going to Brussels, but I’m not an Optimist, I don’t Trust the Germans Anything About Kosovo”, Kosovo Online,, (Date of Accession: 14.12.2022).

[5] “Serbia and Kosovo Agree Final Steps for Implementation of Justice Agreement in Meeting of EU-facilitated Dialogue”, European Union External Action,, (Date of Accession: 14.12.2022).

[6] Jon Henley, “Fears Kosovo-Serbia Number Plate Row Could Spark Violence”, The Guardian,, (Date of Accession: 14.12.2022).

[7] Elsa Maishman and James Gregory, “Serbian Leader Holds Security Talks over Kosovo Unrest”, BBC,, (Date of Accession: 14.12.2022).

[8] “Moscow Calls for ‘Diplomatic’ Solution to Kosovo Tensions”, The Moscow Times,, (Date of Accession: 14.12.2022).