Kosovo: A gloomy picture 20 years after NATO's strikes

21 March 2019

24 March 2019 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the beginning of NATO's air strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The intervention, according to the official speech, was supposed to "prevent a humanitarian disaster" or "stop genocide" against the Albanian population in Kosovo. However, the situation worsened during the weeks of bombardments, which seems to have triggered rather than prevented the announced "humanitarian disaster".

Twenty years later, how is the situation in the region shaping up? What is Kosovo's current status and place in regional and international relations, while relations with Belgrade, who does not recognize the independence of its southern province, seem to be at its lowest? What is the economic, political and social situation like?  Finally, what are its prospects for the future, at a time when the EU is losing its attraction and influence in the Balkans?

Photo credit: BalkanInsight - From right to left: Fatmir Limaj, Deputy vice-prime minister; Kadri Veseli, president of  the Parliament; Ramush Haradinaj, Prime minister; and (to the right of Federica Mogherini) Hashim Thaçi, president of the Kosovo. The four current top leaders of Kosovo in this photo are also suspected of organ trafficking.