Protection of Minority Communities in Kosovo: Legally Ahead of European Standards—Practically Still a Long Way to Go

in Review of Central and East European Law
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Abstract

In this article, the author analyzes the legislative framework for the protection of minority communities in Kosovo, as it has developed from the periods before and after the declaration of independence, and its implementation in practice. She focuses in her study on four major issues: non-discrimination, education for minority communities, the use of languages, and effective participation, including issues of decentralization. The author comes to the following conclusions. First, in each field, quite advanced laws exist that in many respects are perfectly in line or even way ahead of the standards applied in other European countries. But implementation has been lacking so far. Second, on the institutional side, the author draws attention to the multitude of national (and international) actors dealing with minority issues, risking thereby an uncoordinated approach to minority issues and a failure to mainstream such matters. And, third, the reluctance of the Serb community to cooperate with the Kosovar authorities has further been identified as highly problematic, because true reconciliation requires a willingness to participate in interethnic cooperation.

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