Kosovo Effect Group

The year 2007 was expected to become the year of Kosovo's status: resolved as a result of the mission of Marti Ahtisaari and his team, fulfilling a mandate by the UN Security Council. Kosovo's eventual independence was supposed to affect the Balkan region and especially the countries of the Western Balkans.

The expectations for an unambiguous decision of the Kosovo status issue, however, proved to be too optimistic. The re-emergence of Russia as a great revisionist power in Europe took Kosovo as a next hostage. Due to the Russian objection the Ahtisaari plan failed in the UN Security Council; a new round of negotiations lead by representatives from the US, EU and Russia started practically an open-ended process. Meanwhile, the tensions in Kosovo are rising and the voices for a unilateral declaration of independence grow in numbers.
The aim of the Kosovo Effect Group project was to evaluate the risks throughout the status negotiating process as well as to outline the possible effects of Kosovo's new status both on the Balkan region and on other countries in Europe's neighborhood. Treating the solution to the Kosovo status as a model for ‘frozen conflict zones' like South Osetia, Abhasia or Trasnistria, was a major risk anticipated by the project.
Two meetings of the Group took place in December 2006 and in March 2007 in Berlin and reflected the opinion of leading experts from countries involved in the Kosovo status negotiations. Some of the participants included experts on both Balkan region and the Caucasus: Goran Svilanovic, Charles King, David Bakradze, Mark Medish, etc.
Overall, the Kosovo Effect Group created its own synergy reaching beyond the duration of the project as a network of experts and opinion makers with high awareness of the risks and opportunities offered by the Kosovo status negotiations.

Period: December 2006 - March 2007
Coordinators: Vessela Tcherneva
Financing Organisations: Robert Bosch Stiftung
Global Affairs