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Kosovo vs. Albania

Introduction

KosovoAlbania
BackgroundThe central Balkans were part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires before ethnic Serbs migrated to the territories of modern Kosovo in the 7th century. During the medieval period, Kosovo became the center of a Serbian Empire and saw the construction of many important Serb religious sites, including many architecturally significant Serbian Orthodox monasteries. The defeat of Serbian forces at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 led to five centuries of Ottoman rule during which large numbers of Turks and Albanians moved to Kosovo. By the end of the 19th century, Albanians replaced Serbs as the dominant ethnic group in Kosovo. Serbia reacquired control over the region from the Ottoman Empire during the First Balkan War of 1912. After World War II, Kosovo's present-day boundaries were established when Kosovo became an autonomous province of Serbia in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (S.F.R.Y.). Despite legislative concessions, Albanian nationalism increased in the 1980s, which led to riots and calls for Kosovo's independence. The Serbs - many of whom viewed Kosovo as their cultural heartland - instituted a new constitution in 1989 revoking Kosovo's autonomous status. Kosovo's Albanian leaders responded in 1991 by organizing a referendum declaring Kosovo independent. Serbia undertook repressive measures against the Kosovar Albanians in the 1990s, provoking a Kosovar Albanian insurgency.
Beginning in 1998, Serbia conducted a brutal counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres and massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians (some 800,000 ethnic Albanians were forced from their homes in Kosovo). After international attempts to mediate the conflict failed, a three-month NATO military operation against Serbia beginning in March 1999 forced the Serbs to agree to withdraw their military and police forces from Kosovo. UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) placed Kosovo under a transitional administration, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), pending a determination of Kosovo's future status. A UN-led process began in late 2005 to determine Kosovo's final status. The 2006-07 negotiations ended without agreement between Belgrade and Pristina, though the UN issued a comprehensive report on Kosovo's final status that endorsed independence. On 17 February 2008, the Kosovo Assembly declared Kosovo independent. Since then, over 110 countries have recognized Kosovo, and it has joined numerous international organizations. In October 2008, Serbia sought an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality under international law of Kosovo's declaration of independence. The ICJ released the advisory opinion in July 2010 affirming that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate general principles of international law, UN Security Council Resolution 1244, or the Constitutive Framework. The opinion was closely tailored to Kosovo's unique history and circumstances.
Demonstrating Kosovo’s development into a sovereign, multi-ethnic, democratic country the international community ended the period of Supervised Independence in 2012. Elections were held throughout Kosovo in 2013 and 2014, at the municipal and national level respectively. Serbia continues to reject Kosovo's independence, but the two countries reached an agreement to normalize their relations in April 2013 through EU-facilitated talks and are currently engaged in the implementation process. Kosovo seeks full integration into the international community, and has pursued bilateral recognitions and eventual membership in international organizations, such as the UN, EU, and NATO.
Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939 and occupied by Germany in 1943. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, dilapidated infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents.
Albania has made progress in its democratic development since first holding multiparty elections in 1991, but deficiencies remain. Most of Albania's post-communist elections were marred by claims of electoral fraud; however, international observers judged elections to be largely free and fair since the restoration of political stability following the collapse of pyramid schemes in 1997. Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and in June 2014 became a candidate for EU accession. Albania in November 2016 received a European Commission recommendation to open EU accession negotiations conditioned upon implementation of a judicial reform package passed earlier the same year. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, it has slowed, and the country is still one of the poorest in Europe. A large informal economy and a weak energy and transportation infrastructure remain obstacles.

Geography

KosovoAlbania
LocationSoutheast Europe, between Serbia and Macedonia
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece to the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north
Geographic coordinates42 35 N, 21 00 E
41 00 N, 20 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Europe
Areatotal: 10,887 sq km
land: 10,887 sq km
water: 0 sq km
total: 28,748 sq km
land: 27,398 sq km
water: 1,350 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Delaware
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundariestotal: 714 km
border countries (4): Albania 112 km, Macedonia 160 km, Montenegro 76 km, Serbia 366 km
total: 691 km
border countries (4): Greece 212 km, Kosovo 112 km, Macedonia 181 km, Montenegro 186 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
362 km
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climateinfluenced by continental air masses resulting in relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall and hot, dry summers and autumns; Mediterranean and alpine influences create regional variation; maximum rainfall between October and December
mild temperate; cool, cloudy, wet winters; hot, clear, dry summers; interior is cooler and wetter
Terrainflat fluvial basin at an elevation of 400-700 m above sea level surrounded by several high mountain ranges with elevations of 2,000 to 2,500 m
mostly mountains and hills; small plains along coast
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 450 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Drini i Bardhe/Beli Drim 297 m (located on the border with Albania)
highest point: Gjeravica/Deravica 2,656 m
mean elevation: 708 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maja e Korabit (Golem Korab) 2,764 m
Natural resourcesnickel, lead, zinc, magnesium, lignite, kaolin, chrome, bauxite
petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 52.8%
arable land 27.4%; permanent crops 1.9%; permanent pasture 23.5%
forest: 41.7%
other: 5.5% (2001 est.)
agricultural land: 43.8%
arable land 22.7%; permanent crops 2.7%; permanent pasture 18.4%
forest: 28.3%
other: 27.9% (2011 est.)
Irrigated landNA
3,310 sq km (2012)
Geography - notethe 41-km long Nerodimka River divides into two branches each of which flows into a different sea: the northern branch flows into the Sitnica River, which via the Ibar, Morava, and Danube Rivers ultimately flows into the Black Sea; the southern branch flows via the Lepenac and Vardar Rivers into the Aegean Sea
strategic location along Strait of Otranto (links Adriatic Sea to Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea)
Population distributionpockets of agglomeration exist throughout the country, the largest being in the east in and around the capital of Pristina
a fairly even distribution, with somewhat higher concentrations of people in the western and central parts of the country

Demographics

KosovoAlbania
Population1,883,018 (July 2016 est.)
3,038,594 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 25.39% (male 248,366/female 229,732)
15-24 years: 17.38% (male 171,363/female 155,928)
25-54 years: 42.43% (male 421,620/female 377,362)
55-64 years: 7.65% (male 72,444/female 71,659)
65 years and over: 7.15% (male 56,407/female 78,137) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 18.37% (male 295,022/female 263,141)
15-24 years: 18.09% (male 284,201/female 265,530)
25-54 years: 40.73% (male 589,707/female 648,021)
55-64 years: 11.23% (male 168,500/female 172,587)
65 years and over: 11.58% (male 165,076/female 186,809) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 28.7 years
male: 28.3 years
female: 29 years (2016 est.)
total: 32.5 years
male: 31.2 years
female: 33.8 years (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Kosovar (Albanian), Kosovac (Serbian)
adjective: Kosovar (Albanian), Kosovski (Serbian)
note: Kosovan, a neutral term, is sometimes also used as a noun or adjective
noun: Albanian(s)
adjective: Albanian
Ethnic groupsAlbanians 92.9%, Bosniaks 1.6%, Serbs 1.5%, Turk 1.1%, Ashkali 0.9%, Egyptian 0.7%, Gorani 0.6%, Romani 0.5%, other/unspecified 0.2%
note: these estimates may under-represent Serb, Romani, and some other ethnic minorities because they are based on the 2011 Kosovo national census, which excluded northern Kosovo (a largely Serb-inhabited region) and was partially boycotted by Serb and Romani communities in southern Kosovo (2011 est.)
Albanian 82.6%, Greek 0.9%, other 1% (including Vlach, Romani, Macedonian, Montenegrin, and Egyptian), unspecified 15.5% (2011 est.)
ReligionsMuslim 95.6%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, Orthodox 1.5%, other 0.07%, none 0.07%, unspecified 0.6% (2011 est.)
Muslim 56.7%, Roman Catholic 10%, Orthodox 6.8%, atheist 2.5%, Bektashi (a Sufi order) 2.1%, other 5.7%, unspecified 16.2%
note: all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice (2011 est.)
LanguagesAlbanian (official) 94.5%, Bosnian 1.7%, Serbian (official) 1.6%, Turkish 1.1%, other 0.9% (includes Romani), unspecified 0.1%
note: in municipalities where a community's mother tongue is not one of Kosovo's official languages, the language of that community may be given official status according to the 2006 Law on the Use of Languages (2011 est.)
Albanian 98.8% (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek 0.5%, other 0.6% (including Macedonian, Romani, Vlach, Turkish, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.9%
male: 96.6%
female: 87.5% (2003 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.6%
male: 98.4%
female: 96.9% (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationPRISTINA (capital) 207,062 (2014)
TIRANA (capital) 454,000 (2015)

Government

KosovoAlbania
Country name"conventional long form: Republic of Kosovo
conventional short form: Kosovo
local long form: Republika e Kosoves (Republika Kosovo)
local short form: Kosova (Kosovo)
etymology: name derives from the Serbian ""kos"" meaning ""blackbird,"" an ellipsis (linguistic omission) for ""kosove polje"" or ""field of the blackbirds""
"
"conventional long form: Republic of Albania
conventional short form: Albania
local long form: Republika e Shqiperise
local short form: Shqiperia
former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania
etymology: the English-language country name seems to be derived from the ancient Illyrian tribe of the Albani; the native name ""Shqiperia"" is popularly interpreted to mean ""Land of the Eagles""
"
Government typeparliamentary republic
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Pristina (Prishtine, Prishtina)
geographic coordinates: 42 40 N, 21 10 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
name: Tirana (Tirane)
geographic coordinates: 41 19 N, 19 49 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions38 municipalities (komunat, singular - komuna (Albanian); opstine, singular - opstina (Serbian)); Decan (Decani), Dragash (Dragas), Ferizaj (Urosevac), Fushe Kosove (Kosovo Polje), Gjakove (Dakovica), Gjilan (Gnjilane), Gllogovc (Glogovac), Gracanice (Gracanica), Hani i Elezit (Deneral Jankovic), Istog (Istok), Junik, Kacanik, Kamenice (Kamenica), Kline (Klina), Kllokot (Klokot), Leposaviq (Leposavic), Lipjan (Lipljan), Malisheve (Malisevo), Mamushe (Mamusa), Mitrovice e Jug (Juzna Mitrovica) [South Mitrovica], Mitrovice e Veriut (Severna Mitrovica) [North Mitrovica], Novoberde (Novo Brdo), Obiliq (Obilic), Partesh (Partes), Peje (Pec), Podujeve (Podujevo), Prishtine (Pristina), Prizren, Rahovec (Orahovac), Ranillug (Ranilug), Shterpce (Strpce), Shtime (Stimlje), Skenderaj (Srbica), Suhareke (Suva Reka), Viti (Vitina), Vushtrri (Vucitrn), Zubin Potok, Zvecan
12 counties (qarqe, singular - qark); Berat, Diber, Durres, Elbasan, Fier, Gjirokaster, Korce, Kukes, Lezhe, Shkoder, Tirane, Vlore
Independence17 February 2008 (from Serbia)
28 November 1912 (from the Ottoman Empire)
National holidayIndependence Day, 17 February (2008)
Independence Day, 28 November (1912) also known as Flag Day
Constitutionhistory: previous 1974, 1990; latest (postindependence) draft finalized 2 April 2008, signed 7 April 2008, ratified 9 April 2008, entered into force 15 June 2008; note - amendment 24, passed by the Assembly in August 2015, established the Kosovo Relocated Specialist Institution, a court established to try war crimes allegedly committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army in the late 1990s
amendments: proposed by the government, by the president of the republic, or by one-fourth of Assembly deputies; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly, including two-thirds majority vote of deputies representing non-majority communities, followed by a favorable Constitutional Court assessment; amended several times, last in 2016 (2016)
history: several previous; latest approved by the Assembly 21 October 1998, adopted by referendum 22 November 1998, promulgated 28 November 1998
amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of the Assembly membership; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; referendum required only if approved by two-thirds of the Assembly; amendments approved by referendum effective upon declaration by the president of the republic; amended several times, last in 2016 (2017)
Legal systemcivil law system; note- the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) retains limited executive powers related to the investigation of such issues as war crimes
"civil law system except in the northern rural areas where customary law known as the ""Code of Leke"" prevails
"
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Hashim THACI (since 7 April 2016)
head of government: Prime Minister (vacant); note - Prime Minister Isa MUSTAFA (since 9 December 2014) lost no-confidence vote on 10 May 2017
cabinet: Cabinet elected by the Assembly
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly for a 5-year term; if a candidate does not receive a two-third majority in the first two ballots, the candidate receiving a simple majority of votes in the third ballot is elected (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 February 2016 (next to be held in 2021); prime minister indirectly elected by the Assembly
election results: Hashim THACI elected president; Assembly vote: third-round results - Hashim THACI (PDK) 71, Rafet RAMA (PDK) 0, invalid 10; Isa MUSTAFA (LDK) selected prime minister by the President in consultation with the LDK/PDK/PD/LB/PSHDK/PK coalition
chief of state: President of the Republic Bujar NISHANI (since 24 July 2012)
head of government: Prime Minister Edi RAMA (since 10 September 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Niko PELESHI
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, nominated by the president, and approved by the Assembly
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); a candidate needs three-fifths majority vote of the Assembly in 1 of 3 rounds or a simple majority in 2 additional rounds to become president; election last held in 3 rounds during the period 19, 20, and 27 April 2017 (next election to be held in 2022) but failed; prime minister appointed by the president on the proposal of the majority party or coalition of parties in the Assembly
election results: Ilir META (LSI) elected president; Assembly vote - 87 - 2 in fourth round; he takes office on 24 July 2017
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi i Kosoves/Skupstina Kosova (120 seats; 100 members directly elected by proportional representation vote with 20 seats reserved for ethnic minorities - 10 for Serbs and 10 for other ethnic minorities; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 11 June 2017 (next to be held in 2021); note - early elections were held after a no-confidence vote on 10 May 2017 led to the dismissal of Prime Minister Isa MUSTAFA
election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - PAN Coalition 33.7%, VV 27.5%, LAA Coalition 25.5%, Serb List 6.1%, KDTP 1.1% VAKAT .9%, other 5.2%; seats by party/coalition - PAN Coalition 39, VV 32, LAA Coalition 29, Serb List 9, KDTP 2, VAKAT 2, other 7
description: unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi (140 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 25 June 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - PS 48.3%, PD 28.8%, LSI 14.3%, PDIU 4.8%, PSD 1.0, other 2.8%; seats by party - PS 74, PD 43, LSI 19, PDIU 3, PSD 1
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the court president and NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and 7 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Kosovo Judicial Council, a 13-member independent body staffed by judges and lay members, and also responsible for overall administration of Kosovo's judicial system; judges appointed by the president of the Republic of Kosovo; judges appointed until mandatory retirement age; Constitutional Court judges nominated by the Kosovo Assembly and appointed by the president of the republic to serve single, 9-year terms
subordinate courts: subordinate courts: Court of Appeals (organized into 4 departments: General, Serious Crime, Commercial Matters, and Administrative Matters; Basic Court (located in 7 municipalities, each with several branches)
note: in August 2015, the Kosovo Assembly approved a constitutional amendment that establishes the Kosovo Relocated Specialist Judicial Institution; the court - to be located at the Hague in the Netherlands and expected to be in operation by early 2017 - will try alleged crimes by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army during the late 1990s; the court will be attached to each level of the Kosovo court system and consist of 4 Specialist Chambers with international judges and the Prosecutor's Office
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 17 judges, including the chief justice); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges, including the chairman)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges, including the chairman, appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly to serve single 9-year terms); Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly to serve single 9-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years; chairman elected by the People's Assembly for a single 3-year term
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance
Political parties and leadersAlbanian Christian Democratic Party of Kosovo or PSHDK [Uke BERISHA]
Alliance for the Future of Kosovo or AAK [Ramush HARADINAJ]
Conservative Party of Kosovo or PK [Munir BASHA]
Democratic League of Kosovo or LDK [Isa MUSTAFA]
Democratic Party of Kosovo or PDK [Kadri VESELI]
Initiative for Kosovo or NISMA [Fatmir LIMAJ]
Justice Party of Kosovo or PD [Ferid AGANI]
LAA Coalition [Isa MUSTAFA] (includes LDK, AKR, The Alternative)
Movement for Self-Determination (Vetevendosje) or VV [Visar YMERI]
Movement for Unification or LB [Valon MURATI]
New Kosovo Alliance or AKR [Behgjet PACOLLI]
PAN Coalition [Kadri VESELI] (includes PDK, AAK, NISMA)
Serb List [Slavko SIMIC]
The Alternative [Mimoza KUSATI-LILA]
Turkish Democratic Party of Kosovo or KDTP [Mahir YAGCILAR]
Vakat Coalition or VAKAT [Rasim DEMIRI]
Democratic Party or PD [Lulzim BASHA]
Party for Justice, Integration and Unity or PDIU [Shpetim IDRIZI] (formerly part of APMI)
Social Democratic Party or PSD [Skender GJINUSHI]
Socialist Movement for Integration or LSI [Petrit VASILI]
Socialist Party or PS [Edi RAMA]
Political pressure groups and leadersCiviKos Platform [Valdete IDRIZI]
Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedom (human rights) [Behxhet SHALA]
Group for Political and Legal Studies [Fisnik KORENICA]
KLA War Veterans Organization [Muharrem XHEMAJLI]
Kosova Women's Network [Igballe ROGOVA]
Kosovar Civil Society Foundation [Venera HAJRULLAHU]
Kosovo Democratic Institute [Ismet KRYEZIU]
Organization for Democracy, Anti-Corruption and Dignity Rise! [Arton DEMHASAJ, acting chairman]
Serb National Council (SNV)
Speak Up [Petrit ZOGAJ, executive director]
Confederation of Trade Unions of Albania or KSSH [Kol NIKOLLAJ]
Omonia [Leonidha PAPA]
Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania or BSPSH [Gezim KALAJA]
International organization participationIBRD, IDA, IFC, IMF, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OIF (observer)
BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EITI (compliant country), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Vlora CITAKU (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 2175 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: 202-450-2130
FAX: 202-735-0609
consulate(s) general: New York
consulate(s): Des Moines (IA)
chief of mission: Ambassador Floreta FABER (since 18 May 2015)
chancery: 2100 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 223-4942
FAX: [1] (202) 628-7342
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Gregory T. DELAWIE (since 21 August 2015)
embassy: Arberia/Dragodan, Nazim Hikmet 30, Pristina, Kosovo
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [381] 38 59 59 3000
FAX: [381] 38 549 890
chief of mission: Ambassador Donald LU (since 13 January 2015)
embassy: Rruga e Elbasanit, 103, Tirana
mailing address: US Department of State, 9510 Tirana Place, Dulles, VA 20189-9510
telephone: [355] (4) 2247-285
FAX: [355] (4) 2232-222
Flag descriptioncentered on a dark blue field is a gold-colored silhouette of Kosovo surmounted by six white, five-pointed stars arrayed in a slight arc; each star represents one of the major ethnic groups of Kosovo: Albanians, Serbs, Turks, Gorani, Roma, and Bosniaks
note: one of only two national flags that uses a map as a design element; the flag of Cyprus is the other
"red with a black two-headed eagle in the center; the design is claimed to be that of 15th-century hero George Kastrioti SKANDERBEG, who led a successful uprising against the Ottoman Turks that resulted in a short-lived independence for some Albanian regions (1443-78); an unsubstantiated explanation for the eagle symbol is the tradition that Albanians see themselves as descendants of the eagle; they refer to themselves as ""Shqiptare,"" which translates as ""sons of the eagle""
"
National anthem"name: ""Europe""
lyrics/music: no lyrics/Mendi MENGJIQI
note: adopted 2008; Kosovo chose to exclude lyrics in its anthem so as not to offend the country's minority ethnic groups
"
"name: ""Hymni i Flamurit"" (Hymn to the Flag)
lyrics/music: Aleksander Stavre DRENOVA/Ciprian PORUMBESCU
note: adopted 1912
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)six, five-pointed, white stars; national colors: blue, gold, white
double-headed eagle; national colors: red, black
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kosovo
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Albania
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

KosovoAlbania
Economy - overviewKosovo's economy has shown progress in transitioning to a market-based system and maintaining macroeconomic stability, but it is still highly dependent on the international community and the diaspora for financial and technical assistance. Remittances from the diaspora - located mainly in Germany, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries - are estimated to account for about 17% of GDP and international donor assistance accounts for approximately 10% of GDP. With international assistance, Kosovo has been able to privatize a majority of its state-owned enterprises.

Kosovo's citizens are the second poorest in Europe, after Moldova, with a per capita GDP (PPP) of $9,600 in 2016. An unemployment rate of 33%, and a youth unemployment rate near 60%, in a country where the average age is 26, encourages emigration and fuels a significant informal, unreported economy. Emigration remains challenging, however, because Kosovo lacks visa-free travel to the EU. Most of Kosovo's population lives in rural towns outside of the capital, Pristina. Inefficient, near-subsistence farming is common - the result of small plots, limited mechanization, and a lack of technical expertise. Kosovo enjoys lower labor costs than the rest of the region. However, high levels of corruption, little contract enforcement, and unreliable electricity supply have discouraged potential investors. The official currency of Kosovo is the euro, but the Serbian dinar is also used illegally in Serb majority communities. Kosovo's tie to the euro has helped keep core inflation low.

Minerals and metals production - including lignite, lead, zinc, nickel, chrome, aluminum, magnesium, and a wide variety of construction materials - once the backbone of industry, has declined because of ageing equipment and insufficient investment, problems exacerbated by competing and unresolved ownership claims of Kosovo’s largest mines. A limited and unreliable electricity supply is a major impediment to economic development, but Kosovo has received technical assistance to help improve the sector’s performance. In 2012, Kosovo privatized its electricity supply and distribution network. The US Government is cooperating with the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) and the World Bank to conclude a commercial tender for the construction of Kosovo C, a new lignite-fired power plant that would leverage Kosovo’s large lignite reserves. MED also has plans for the rehabilitation of an older coal power plant, Kosovo B, and the development of a coal mine that could supply both plants.

In June 2009, Kosovo joined the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and began servicing its share of the former Yugoslavia's debt. In order to help integrate Kosovo into regional economic structures, UNMIK signed (on behalf of Kosovo) its accession to the Central Europe Free Trade Area (CEFTA) in 2006. Kosovo joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2012 and the Council of Europe Development Bank in 2013. In 2016, Kosovo implemented the Stabilization and Association Agreement negotiations (SAA) with the EU, focused on trade liberalization. Under the SAA, Kosovo—which gets approximately 58% of government revenue from tariffs on imports—is required to phase out tariffs on EU goods over the next seven years. In 2014, nearly 60% of customs duty-eligible imports into Kosovo were EU goods. In 2015, Kosovo negotiated a $185 million Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) with the IMF following the conclusion of its previous SBA in 2014. The IMF requested an extension of the current SBA to August 2017 to facilitate policy continuity and allow sufficient time for ongoing structural reforms to progress. In August 2015, as part of its EU-facilitated normalization process with Serbia, Kosovo signed agreements on telecommunications and energy distribution, but disagreements over who owns economic assets, such as the Trepca mining conglomerate, within Kosovo continue.

Kosovo experienced its first federal budget deficit in 2012, when government expenditures climbed sharply. In May 2014, the government introduced a 25% salary increase for public sector employees and an equal increase in certain social benefits. Central revenues could not sustain these increases, and the government was forced to reduce its planned capital investments. The government, led by Prime Minister MUSTAFA - a trained economist - recently made several changes to its fiscal policy, expanding the list of duty-free imports, decreasing the Value Added Tax (VAT) for basic food items and public utilities, and increasing the VAT for all other goods.

While Kosovo’s economy continued to make progress, it needs further reform and investment to enable the level of growth required to reduce unemployment and raise living standards in a meaningful way.
Albania, a formerly closed, centrally-planned state, is a developing country with a modern open-market economy. Albania managed to weather the first waves of the global financial crisis but, the negative effects of the crisis caused a significant economic slowdown. Since 2014, Albania’s economy has steadily improved and economic growth is projected to increase to 3.8% in 2017. However, close trade, remittance, and banking sector ties with Greece and Italy make Albania vulnerable to spillover effects of possible debt crises and weak growth in the euro zone.

Remittances, a significant catalyst for economic growth, declined from 12-15% of GDP before the 2008 financial crisis to 5.8% of GDP in 2015, mostly from Albanians residing in Greece and Italy. The agricultural sector, which accounts for almost half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming, because of a lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. Complex tax codes and licensing requirements, a weak judicial system, endemic corruption, poor enforcement of contracts and property issues, and antiquated infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment making attracting foreign investment difficult. Since 2015, Albania has launched an ambitious program to increase tax compliance and bring more businesses into the formal economy. In July 2016, Albania passed constitutional amendments reforming the judicial system in order to strengthen the rule of law and to reduce deeply entrenched corruption.

Albania’s electricity supply is uneven despite upgraded transmission capacities with neighboring countries. However, the government has recently taken steps to stem non-technical losses and has begun to upgrade the distribution grid. Better enforcement of electricity contracts has improved the financial viability of the sector, decreasing its reliance on budget support. Also, with help from international donors, the government is taking steps to improve the poor road and rail networks, a long standing barrier to sustained economic growth.

Inward FDI has increased significantly in recent years as the government has embarked on an ambitious program to improve the business climate through fiscal and legislative reforms. The government is focused on the simplification of licensing requirements and tax codes, and it entered into a new arrangement with the IMF for additional financial and technical support. Albania’s three-year IMF program, an extended fund facility arrangement, was successfully concluded in February 2017. Albania’s 2017 budget aims to reach a small primary surplus, which the Albanian Government plans to achieve by strengthening tax collection amid moderate public wage and pension increases. The country continues to face high public debt, exceeding its former statutory limit of 60% of GDP in 2013 and reaching 71% in 2016.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$18.49 billion (2016 est.)
$17.83 billion (2015 est.)
$17.27 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$33.9 billion (2016 est.)
$32.66 billion (2015 est.)
$31.59 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
unreported output may be as large as 50% of official GDP
GDP - real growth rate3.7% (2016 est.)
2.9% (2015 est.)
1.2% (2014 est.)
3.8% (2017 est.)
3.4% (2016 est.)
2.6% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$9,600 (2016 est.)
$9,300 (2015 est.)
$9,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 US dollars
$11,900 (2016 est.)
$11,500 (2015 est.)
$11,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 12.9%
industry: 22.6%
services: 64.5% (2009 est.)
agriculture: 21.6%
industry: 14.9%
services: 63.5%
(2016 est.)
Population below poverty line30% (2013 est.)
14.3% (2012 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.2% (2016 est.)
-0.5% (2015 est.)
1.3% (2016 est.)
1.9% (2015 est.)
Labor force483,200
note: includes those estimated to be employed in the grey economy (2013 est.)
1.179 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 5.9%
industry: 16.8%
services: 77.3% (2013)
agriculture: 41.8%
industry: 11.4%
services: 46.8% (December 2014 est)
Unemployment rate34.8% (2016 est.)
34.6% (2015 est.)
note: Kosovo has a large informal sector that may not be reflected in these data
14.5% (2016 est.)
16.9% (2015 est.)
note: these official rates may not include those working at near-subsistence farming
Distribution of family income - Gini index30 (FY05/06)
29 (2012 est.)
30 (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $1.396 billion
expenditures: $1.61 billion (2014 est.)
revenues: $3.203 billion
expenditures: $3.546 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesmineral mining, construction materials, base metals, leather, machinery, appliances, foodstuffs and beverages, textiles
food; footwear, apparel and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower
Agriculture - productswheat, corn, berries, potatoes, peppers, fruit; dairy, livestock; fish
wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, olives and olive oil, grapes; meat, dairy products; sheep and goats
Exports$349 million (2014 est.)
$408 million (2013 est.)
$1.962 billion (2016 est.)
$1.93 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmining and processed metal products, scrap metals, leather products, machinery, appliances, prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco, vegetable products, textiles and apparel
apparel and clothing, footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; cement and construction materials, vegetables, fruits, tobacco
Exports - partnersItaly 25.8%, Albania 14.6%, Macedonia 9.6%, China 5.5%, Germany 5.4%, Switzerland 5.4%, Turkey 4.1% (2012 est.)
Italy 43.3%, Kosovo 9.8%, US 7.7%, China 6.2%, Greece 5.3%, Spain 4.8% (2015)
Imports$2.687 billion (2014 est.)
$3.398 billion (2013 est.)
$4.667 billion (2016 est.)
$4.322 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs, livestock, wood, petroleum, chemicals, machinery, minerals, textiles, stone, ceramic and glass products, electrical equipment
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals
Imports - partnersGermany 11.9%, Macedonia 11.5%, Serbia 11.1%, Italy 8.5%, Turkey 9%, China 6.4%, Albania 4.4% (2012 est.)
Italy 33.4%, China 10%, Greece 9%, Turkey 6.7%, Germany 5.2% (2015)
Debt - external$1.4 billion (2016 est.)
$1.3 billion (2015 est.)
$7.797 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.716 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.78 (2012 est.)
leke (ALL) per US dollar -
127.4 (2016 est.)
125.96 (2015 est.)
125.96 (2014 est.)
105.48 (2013 est.)
108.19 (2012 est.)
Public debt10.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
9.1% of GDP (2013)
71% of GDP (2016 est.)
71.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$NA
$3.093 billion (31 September 2016 est.)
$3.14 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$651 million (2016 est.)
-$548 million (2015 est.)
-$1.465 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.226 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$6.56 billion (2016 est.)
$12.14 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$21.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$26.24 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$6.056 billion (31 December 2014)
$5.459 billion (31 December 2013)
Commercial bank prime lending rate12.8% (30 June 2013 est.)
13.7% (31 December 2012 est.)
9.1% (31 December 2016 est.)
8.7% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.02 billion (2014 est.)
$2.505 billion (2013 est.)
$7.008 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.166 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$2.511 billion (2014 est.)
$2.773 billion (2012 est.)
$10.18 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$9.652 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues21.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
26.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
-2.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 55.3%
male: 52%
female: 63.8% (2012 est.)
total: 30.2%
male: 32.5%
female: 26.1% (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 90.5%
government consumption: 16%
investment in fixed capital: 28.2%
investment in inventories: 3%
exports of goods and services: 5.8%
imports of goods and services: -43.5% (2014 est.)
household consumption: 85.7%
government consumption: 10.4%
investment in fixed capital: 27.6%
investment in inventories: 1.5%
exports of goods and services: 37.1%
imports of goods and services: -62.3% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving12.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
12.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
12.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
15.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
15% of GDP (2015 est.)
13% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

KosovoAlbania
Electricity - production5.324 billion kWh (2014 est.)
7.135 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption2.887 billion kWh (2014 est.)
7.094 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports474.8 million kWh (2014 est.)
1.868 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports875 million kWh (2014 est.)
1.826 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
16,500 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
14,330 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - proved reservesNA bbl
2.616 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reservesNA cu m
821.2 million cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2016)
32 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption0 cu m (2016)
32 million cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity1.6 million kW (2014 est.)
1.895 million kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels97.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants2.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
100% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
290 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption13,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
27,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports17 bbl/day (2013 est.)
16,250 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports12,160 bbl/day (2013 est.)
13,250 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy7.576 million Mt (2012 est.)
4.3 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

KosovoAlbania
Telephones - main lines in usetotal: 831,470
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 45 (2013)
total subscriptions: 226,718
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 7 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 562,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 31 (July 2015 est.)
total: 3.401 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 120 (July 2015 est.)

Transportation

KosovoAlbania
Railwaystotal: 333 km
standard gauge: 333 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
total: 677 km (447 km of major railway lines and 230 km of secondary lines)
standard gauge: 677 km 1.435-m gauge (2015)
Roadwaystotal: 2,003 km
paved: 1,883 km (includes 38 km of expressways)
unpaved: 120 km (2014)
total: 18,000 km
paved: 7,020 km
unpaved: 10,980 km (2002)
Airports6 (2013)
4 (2016)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 3
under 914 m: 3 (2013)
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)
Heliports2 (2013)
1 (2013)

Military

KosovoAlbania
Military branchesKosovo does not have a military force; the Kosovo Security Force was established in 2009 and maintains a non-military mandate in four core competencies: search-and-rescue, firefighting, demining, and hazardous material response (2015)
Land Forces Command, Navy Force Command, Air Forces Command (2013)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP0.78% of GDP (2015)
0.73% of GDP (2014)
0.69% of GDP (2013)
0.67% of GDP (2012)
0.76% of GDP (2011)
1.14% of GDP (2016)
1.16% of GDP (2015)
1.35% of GDP (2014)
1.41% of GDP (2013)
1.49% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

KosovoAlbania
Disputes - internationalSerbia with several other states protest the US and other states' recognition of Kosovo's declaration of its status as a sovereign and independent state in February 2008; ethnic Serbian municipalities along Kosovo's northern border challenge final status of Kosovo-Serbia boundary; several thousand NATO-led Kosovo Force peacekeepers under UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo authority continue to keep the peace within Kosovo between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serb minority in Kosovo; Kosovo and Macedonia completed demarcation of their boundary in September 2008
none
Refugees and internally displaced personsIDPs: 17,000 (primarily ethnic Serbs displaced during the 1998-1999 war fearing reprisals from the majority ethnic-Albanian population; a smaller number of ethnic Serbs, Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptians fled their homes in 2004 as a result of violence) (2015)
stateless persons: 4,921 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook