Unification of Albania and Kosovo
The unification of Albania and Kosovo is a political idea, revived since Kosovo declared independence in 2008. This idea has been brought into connection with the irredentist concept of Ethnic Albania. 93% of Kosovars are ethnic Albanians.
Unification at the practical level has already been achieved. The population of Kosovo is predominately Albanian. Kosovo and Albania share some common administrative sectors such as education, policing, and foreign policy. Culture, heritage and trade have also been greatly unified between the two which also share an open border.
During the 1981 protests in Kosovo Yugoslavia feared a potential unification of Kosovo to Albania. In early 1990s Albanian politicians' statements were contradictory in regards. Political activist Ukshin Hoti, founder of the Party of Albanian National Union, eventually killed by Serbian police in 1999, was a very vocal supporter of the unification of Kosovo with Albania. In 2001, Arben Imami, a politician from the Democratic Party of Albania, stated that unification of Kosovo with Albania should be a party goal, but this statement was met with criticism within his own party.
The Ahtisaari Plan conditioned Kosovo's independence by adopting a multiethnic “Kosovar,” rather than an Albanian identity. Still, Gallup surveys revealed that 75% of Kosovo Albanians would prefer to live unified with Albania in a single country. The same support was seen in Albania where 68% of the citizens of Albania preferred a unification of Albania with Kosovo. In 2017, some mainstream Albanian politicians, such as Ben Blushi, have come out in support of unification. In Kosovo, the largest opposition party Vetëvendosje supports unification.
In May 2019, president Hashim Thaçi suggested a referendum on the unification of Kosovo and Albania, if the slow integration process by the European Union does not accelerate. However, some simply view this as an attempt by Thaçi to “keep himself in the spotlight”, without any real intention of uniting the two countries.
- Sharon L. Wolchik; Jane Leftwich Curry (2011). Central and East European Politics: From Communism to Democracy. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 390. ISBN 978-0-7425-6734-4.
Undoubtedly, Kosovo's independence has revived the idea of the national unification of Albanians
- Tristan James Mabry; John McGarry (2013). Divided Nations and European Integration. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 175.
- Lenard J. Cohen; Jasna Dragović-Soso (2008). State Collapse in South-Eastern Europe: New Perspectives on Yugoslavia's Disintegration. Purdue University Press. p. 194.
- Winston Langley (2013). Encyclopedia of Human Rights Issues Since 1945. Routledge.
- Henry H. Perritt (2010). The Road to Independence for Kosovo: A Chronicle of the Ahtisaari Plan. Cambridge University Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-521-11624-4.
- Howard Clark (2000). Civil Resistance in Kosovo. Pluto Press. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-0-7453-1569-0.
- Geert-Hinrich Ahrens (6 March 2007). Diplomacy on the Edge: Containment of Ethnic Conflict and the Minorities Working Group of the Conferences on Yugoslavia. Woodrow Wilson Center Press. p. 323. ISBN 978-0-8018-8557-0.
CSCE mission of May 1992 judged that “on the question of the relations with Albania and of a possible unification, the answers were unclear, vague, and sometimes contraddictory
- Heike Krieger (12 July 2001). The Kosovo Conflict and International Law: An Analytical Documentation 1974-1999. Cambridge University Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-521-80071-6.
- Maria Koinova (1 July 2013). Ethnonationalist Conflict in Postcommunist States: Varieties of Governance in Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Kosovo. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-8122-0837-5.
- Tristan James Mabry; John McGarry; Margaret Moore; Brendan O'Leary (30 May 2013). Divided Nations and European Integration. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 182. ISBN 0-8122-4497-4.
- "Thaci's Pan-Albania Union Plea Scorned as Populism". Balkan Insight. 2019-06-03. Retrieved 2019-06-09.