Publication of report: Kosovo-NATO Relations and Prospects for Greater Cooperation


Publikimi i raportit: Marrëdhëniet Kosovë-NATO dhe Perspektivat për Bashkëpunim të Zgjeruar

Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS), has published an insightful analysis titled "Kosovo-NATO Relations and Prospects for Greater Cooperation", authored by Leureta Lumi, a researcher at KCSS. The paper explores Kosovo's aspiration to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), emphasizing the national interest, strong public support, and strategic steps necessary for membership.

According to the 2022 Security Barometer by KCSS, 92 percent of Kosovars favor NATO membership, with support among Kosovo Albanians reaching 99.5 percent. This unparalleled public backing highlights NATO membership as a key objective for Kosovo's long-term strategic security.

NATO's role in ending the 1999 war and preventing genocide in Kosovo has cemented its positive perception among Kosovars. Recent geopolitical developments, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have intensified Kosovo's urgency to join NATO, especially given unresolved disputes with Serbia.

Despite the security provided by NATO's KFOR mission, political relations between NATO and Kosovo have seen little advancement since 2016. Lumi's analysis examines the complex dynamics of NATO-Kosovo relations, outlining the challenges and potential pathways for Kosovo to enhance cooperation and achieve membership.

Key recommendations include:

1. Strengthening Diplomatic Efforts: Intensify diplomatic initiatives to secure broader international recognition and support from NATO members. Engage in dialogue to address concerns of countries that have not recognized Kosovo's independence.

2. Accelerating Defense and Security Reforms: Implement comprehensive reforms in the defense and security sectors. Continue developing the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) to meet NATO's standards for interoperability and professionalism.

3. Enhancing Participation in NATO Programs: Actively pursue participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) program and engage with the Membership Action Plan (MAP). Establish a NATO Center of Excellence in Kosovo focused on search and rescue operations to advance its contributions within the alliance.

4. Leveraging Strategic Partnerships: Engage with NATO centers of excellence and pursue strategic partnerships with NATO member states to enhance Kosovo's defense capabilities and its path toward full NATO integration.

Kosovo's strategic location in Southeast Europe, its commitment to democratic values, and proactive efforts in fostering peace and stability make it a strong candidate for NATO membership. Joining NATO would not only enhance Kosovo's security but also contribute to regional peace and stability, reinforcing the importance of resolving conflicts through dialogue and diplomacy.

This paper provides a comprehensive roadmap for Kosovo's NATO aspirations, emphasizing the need for sustained dedication, strategic reforms, and robust international engagement to achieve this critical national object.

Report is available here: Albanian and English

About the author:

Leureta Lumi is a researcher at the Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS) with extensive experience in security, human rights, international law, and management. She has worked with senior government officials and international partners, contributing to decision-making processes and fostering cooperation between Kosovo and the international community.