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Kosovo vs. Serbia

Government

KosovoSerbia
Country name
conventional long form: Republic of Kosovo
conventional short form: Kosovo
local long form: Republika e Kosoves (Republika Kosovo)
local short form: Kosove (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 Serbia
conventional short form: Serbia
local long form: Republika Srbija
local short form: Srbija
former: People's Republic of Serbia, Socialist Republic of Serbia
etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but seems to be related to the name of the West Slavic Sorbs who reside in the Lusatian region in present-day eastern Germany; by tradition, the Serbs migrated from that region to the Balkans in about the 6th century A.D.
Government type
parliamentary republic
parliamentary republic
Capital
name: 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
etymology: the name may derive from a Proto-Slavic word reconstructed as "pryshchina," meaning "spring (of water)"
name: Belgrade (Beograd)
geographic coordinates: 44 50 N, 20 30 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
etymology: the Serbian "Beograd" means "white fortress" or "white city" and dates back to the 9th century; the name derives from the white fortress wall that once enclosed the city
Administrative divisions
38 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 Jugut (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

119 municipalities (opstine, singular - opstina) and 26 cities (gradovi, singular - grad)

municipalities: Ada*, Aleksandrovac, Aleksinac, Alibunar*, Apatin*, Arandelovac, Arilje, Babusnica, Bac*, Backa Palanka*, Backa Topola*, Backi Petrovac*, Bajina Basta, Batocina, Becej*, Bela Crkva*, Bela Palanka, Beocin*, Blace, Bogatic, Bojnik, Boljevac, Bor, Bosilegrad, Brus, Bujanovac, Cajetina, Cicevac, Coka*, Crna Trava, Cuprija, Despotovac, Dimitrov, Doljevac, Gadzin Han, Golubac, Gornji Milanovac, Indija*, Irig*, Ivanjica, Kanjiza*, Kladovo, Knic, Knjazevac, Koceljeva, Kosjeric, Kovacica*, Kovin*, Krupanj, Kucevo, Kula*, Kursumlija, Lajkovac, Lapovo, Lebane, Ljig, Ljubovija, Lucani, Majdanpek, Mali Idos*, Mali Zvornik, Malo Crnice, Medveda, Merosina, Mionica, Negotin, Nova Crnja*, Nova Varos, Novi Becej*, Novi Knezevac*, Odzaci*, Opovo*, Osecina, Paracin, Pecinci*, Petrovac na Mlavi, Plandiste*, Pozega, Presevo, Priboj, Prijepolje, Prokuplje, Raca, Raska, Razanj, Rekovac, Ruma*, Secanj*, Senta*, Sid*, Sjenica, Smederevska Palanka, Sokobanja, Srbobran*, Sremski Karlovci*, Stara Pazova*, Surdulica, Svilajnac, Svrljig, Temerin*, Titel*, Topola, Trgoviste, Trstenik, Tutin, Ub, Varvarin, Velika Plana, Veliko Gradiste, Vladicin Han, Vladimirci, Vlasotince, Vrbas*, Vrnjacka Banja, Zabalj*, Zabari, Zagubica, Zitiste*, Zitorada;

cities: Beograd, Cacak, Jagodina, Kikinda*, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Krusevac, Leskovac, Loznica, Nis, Novi Pazar, Novi Sad*, Pancevo*, Pirot, Pozarevac, Sabac, Smederevo, Sombor*, Sremska Mitrovica*, Subotica*, Uzice, Valjevo, Vranje, Vrsac*, Zajecar, Zrenjanin*

note: the northern 37 municipalities and 8 cities - about 28% of Serbia's area - compose the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and are indicated with *

Independence
17 February 2008 (from Serbia)
5 June 2006 (from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro); notable earlier dates: 1217 (Serbian Kingdom established); 16 April 1346 (Serbian Empire established); 13 July 1878 (Congress of Berlin recognizes Serbian independence); 1 December 1918 (Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) established)
National holiday
Independence Day, 17 February (2008)
National Day (Statehood Day), 15 February (1835), the day the first constitution of the country was adopted
Constitution
history: 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, referred to as the Kosovo Specialist Chamber or "Specialist Court," to try war crimes allegedly committed by members of 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
history: many previous; latest adopted 30 September 2006, approved by referendum 28-29 October 2006, effective 8 November 2006
amendments: proposed by at least one third of deputies in the National Assembly, by the president of the republic, by the government, or by petition of at least 150,000 voters; passage of proposals and draft amendments each requires at least two-thirds majority vote in the Assembly; amendments to constitutional articles including the preamble, constitutional principles, and human and minority rights and freedoms also require passage by simple majority vote in a referendum
Legal system
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
18 years of age, 16 if employed; universal
Executive branch
chief of state: Acting President Vjosa OSMANI (since 5 November 2020); note: President Hashim THACI (since 7 April 2016) resigned 5 November 2020
head of government: Prime Minister Avdullah HOTI (since 3 June 2020)
cabinet: Cabinet elected by the Assembly
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly for a 5-year term; if a candidate does not attain a two-thirds threshold in the first two ballots, the candidate winning a simple majority vote 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 in the third ballot; Assembly vote - Hashim THACI (PDK) 71, Rafet RAMA (PDK) 0, invalid 10; Avdullah HOTI (LDK) elected prime minister; Assembly vote - 61 of 85
chief of state: President Aleksandar VUCIC (since 31 May 2017)
head of government: Prime Minister Ana BRNABIC (since 29 June 2017)
cabinet: Cabinet elected by the National Assembly
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 2 April 2017 (next to be held in 2022); prime minister elected by the National Assembly
election results: Aleksandar VUCIC elected president in the first round; percent of vote - Aleksandar VUCIC (SNS) 55.1%, Sasa JANKOVIC (independent) 16.4%, Luka MAKSIMOVIC (independent) 9.4%, Vuk JEREMIC (independent) 5.7%, Vojislav SESELJ (SRS) 4.5%, Bosko OBRADOVIC (Dveri) 2.3%, other 5.0%, invalid/blank 1.6%; Prime Minister Ana BRNABIC reelected by the National Assembly on 5 October 2020
Legislative branch
description: unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi i Kosoves/Skupstina Kosova (120 seats; 100 members directly elected by open-list 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 6 October 2019 (next to be held in 2023); note - early elections were held on 6 October 2019 following the dissolution of parliament on 22 August 2019, as a result of political deadlock since the resignation of Prime Minister HARADINAJ on 19 July 2019
election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - VV 25.5%, LDK 24.8%, PDK 21.2%, AAK-PSD 11.6%, Serb List 6.6%, other 10.3%; seats by party/coalition - VV 31, LDK 30, PDK 25, AAK-PSD 14, Serb List 10, Vakat 2, KDTP 2, other 6; composition - men NA, women NA, percent of women NA%
description: unicameral National Assembly or Narodna Skupstina (250 seats; members directly elected by party list proportional representation vote in a single nationwide constituency to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 21 June 2020 (originally scheduled for 26 April 2020 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic) (next to be held in 2024)
election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - For Our Children 60.7%, SPS-JS 10.4%, SPAS 3.8%, SVM 2.2%, Straight Ahead 1%, Albanian Democratic Alternative .8%, SDA .8%, other 20.3%; seats by party/coalition For Our Children 188, SPS-JS 32, SPAS 11, SVM 9, Straight Ahead 4, Albanian Democratic Alternative 3, SDA 3; composition (preliminary) -  men 165, women 85, percent of women 30%

note: seats by party as of May 2019  - SNS 91, SRS 22, SPS 20, DS 13, SDPS 10, PUPS 9, Dveri 6, JS 6, LDP 4, SDS 4, SVM 4, other 36, independent 25; composition - men 157, women 93, percent of women 37.2%

Judicial branch
highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the court president and 18 judges and organized into Appeals Panel of the Kosovo Property Agency and Special Chamber); 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: 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, also referred to as the Kosovo Specialist Chambers or "Special Court"; the court, located at the Hague in the Netherlands, began operating in late 2016 and has jurisdiction to try crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other crimes under Kosovo law that occurred in the 1998-2000 period

highest courts: Supreme Court of Cassation (consists of 36 judges, including the court president); Constitutional Court (consists of 15 judges, including the court president and vice president)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court justices proposed by the High Judicial Council (HJC), an 11-member independent body consisting of  8 judges elected by the National Assembly and 3 ex-officio members; justices appointed by the National Assembly; Constitutional Court judges elected - 5 each by the National Assembly, the president, and the Supreme Court of Cassation; initial appointment of Supreme Court judges by the HJC is 3 years and beyond that period tenure is permanent; Constitutional Court judges elected for 9-year terms
subordinate courts: basic courts, higher courts, appellate courts; courts of special jurisdiction include the Administrative Court, commercial courts, and misdemeanor courts
Political parties and leaders
Alliance for the Future of Kosovo or AAK [Ramush HARADINAJ]
Alternativa [Mimoza KUSARI-LILA]
Democratic League of Kosovo or LDK [Isa MUSTAFA]
Democratic Party of Kosovo or PDK [Kadri VESELI]
Independent Liberal Party or SLS [Slobodan PETROVIC]
Initiative for Kosovo or NISMA [Fatmir LIMAJ]
Movement for Self-Determination (Vetevendosje) or VV [Albin KURTI]
New Kosovo Alliance or AKR [Behgjet PACOLLI]
Serb List [Goran RAKIC]
Social Democratic Party of Kosovo or PSD [Shpend AHMETI]
Turkish Democratic Party of Kosovo or KDTP [Mahir YAGCILAR]
Vakat Coalition or VAKAT [Rasim DEMIRI]
Albanian Democratic Alternative (coalition of ethnic Albanian parties) Shaip KAMBERI
Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians or SVM [Istvan PASZTOR]
Democratic Party or DS [Zoran LUTOVAC]
Democratic Party of Macedonians or DPM [Nenad KRSTESKI]
Democratic Party of Serbia or DSS [Milos JOVANOVIC]
Dveri [Bosko OBRADOVIC]
For Our Children (electoral alliance includes SNS, SDP, PS, PUPS, PSS, SNP, SPO, NSS) [Aleksandar VUCIC]
Justice and Reconciliation Party or SPP [Muamer ZUKORLIC] (formerly Bosniak Democratic Union of Sandzak or BDZS)
Movement of Socialists or PS [Aleksandar VULIN]
Party of Democratic Action of the Sandzak or SDA [Sulejman UGLJANIN]
Party of United Pensioners of Serbia or PUPS [Milan KRKOBABIC]
People's Party or NARODNA [Vuk JEREMIC]
People's Peasant Party or NSS [Marijan RISTICEVIC]
Serbian Patriotic Alliance or SPAS [Aleksandar SAPIC]
Serbian People's Party or SNP [Nenad POPOVIC]
Serbian Progressive Party or SNS [Aleksandar VUCIC]
Serbian Radical Party or SRS [Vojislav SESELJ]
Serbian Renewal Movement or SPO [Vuk DRASKOVIC]
Social Democratic Party or SDS [Boris TADIC]
Social Democratic Party of Serbia or SDPS [Rasim LJAJIC]
Socialist Party of Serbia or SPS [Ivica DACIC]
Straight Ahead (electoral coalition includes SPP, DPM)
Strength of Serbia or PSS [Bogoljub KARIC]
Together for Serbia or ZZS [Nebojsa ZELENOVIC]
United Serbia or JS [Dragan MARKOVIC]

note: Serbia has more than 110 registered political parties and citizens' associations

International organization participation
IBRD, IDA, IFC, IMF, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OIF (observer)
BIS, BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EU (candidate country), FAO, G-9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US
Ambassador Vlora CITAKU (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 2175 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 450-2130
FAX: [1] (202) 735-0609
consulate(s) general: New York
consulate(s): Des Moines (IA)
Ambassador Djerdj MATKOVIC (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 2233 Wisconsin Ave NW, #410, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 332-0333
FAX: [1] (202) 332-3933
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Philip KOSNETT (since 3 December 2018)
telephone: [383] 38 59 59 3000
embassy: Arberia/Dragodan, Nazim Hikmet 30, Pristina
mailing address: use embassy street address
FAX: [383] 38 549 890
chief of mission: Ambassador Anthony GODFREY (since 24 October 2019)
telephone: [381] (11) 706-4000
embassy: 92 Bulevar kneza Aleksandra Karadjordjevica, 11040 Belgrade
mailing address: 5070 Belgrade Place, Washington, DC 20521-5070
FAX: [381] (11) 706-4005
Flag description
centered 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

three equal horizontal stripes of red (top), blue, and white - the Pan-Slav colors representing freedom and revolutionary ideals; charged with the coat of arms of Serbia shifted slightly to the hoist side; the principal field of the coat of arms represents the Serbian state and displays a white two-headed eagle on a red shield; a smaller red shield on the eagle represents the Serbian nation, and is divided into four quarters by a white cross; interpretations vary as to the meaning and origin of the white, curved symbols resembling firesteels (fire strikers) or Cyrillic "C's" in each quarter; a royal crown surmounts the coat of arms

note: the Pan-Slav colors were inspired by the 19th-century flag of Russia

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: "Boze pravde" (God of Justice)
lyrics/music: Jovan DORDEVIC/Davorin JENKO

note: adopted 1904; song originally written as part of a play in 1872 and has been used as an anthem by the Serbian people throughout the 20th and 21st centuries

International law organization participation
has 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
white double-headed eagle; national colors: red, blue, white
Citizenship
citizenship 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 Serbia
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years

Source: CIA Factbook