Standards for Kosovo

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
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Constitution and law

The Standards for Kosovo are a set of UN-endorsed benchmarks for the democratic development of Kosovo[a]. They cover eight key areas of development and include a particular focus on the protection of Kosovo non-Albanian ethnic communities. The Standards address issues of related to functioning democratic institutions, rule of law, rights of communities, returns of displaced persons, the economy, dialogue with Belgrade, property rights and the Kosovo Protection Corps.

In 2003, the international community articulated a policy of "Standards before status," whereby it was decided that Kosovo's status would not be addressed until it had met these Standards of good governance. To meet these goals, Kosovo's Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG) created a series of working groups that met regularly to speed progress on the Standards. In 2005, a UN-commissioned report by Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide assessed that further progress on the Standards would not be possible until Kosovo had clarity about its future status.

In 2006, as the Kosovo Status Process was underway, the government of Kosovo (part of the PISG) began to transition its work on the Standards into the more demanding process of meeting standards for European integration as part of the Stabilization and Association Process Tracking Mechanism (STM).

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a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognized as an independent state by 112 out of 193 United Nations member states, while 12 states have recognized Kosovo only to later withdraw their recognition.

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