Towards a new Era
Kosovo urgently needs continued migration to maintain social stability. However, a society that resolves its labour surplus problems solely through migration, as Kosovo has done for decades, reverts to instability once the safety valve of migration is shut off. Kosovo therefore also needs a social and institutional revolution in its countryside.
There is much loose rhetoric about the Europeanisation of Kosovo as the way forward after resolving its status. But unless such Europeanisation includes at least some focus on migration and some access to European labour markets, it will remain no more than a slogan. Unless its benefits can be seen by citizens in Lubishte and Cerrce, in Isniq and Opoja, it will be no more substantial than the promise of communism. Current EU policy – to continue to invest tens of millions of Euro to stabilize Kosovo and South Eastern Europe without a credible development policy – is incoherent. So is the practice of Kosovo authorities of relying on remittances to keep the rural economy afloat.
Both the citizens of rural Kosovo and European tax-payers deserve better than a set of policies that are failing and bound to fail in the future. It is only by reconsidering current policies that a worthy goal – to stabilise once and for all the Southern Balkans after a decade of wars – will be reached.