Films and exhibitions
In 2009 the ESI White Schengen List Project team looked at the visa and travel situation in Kosovo, from the number of countries to which Kosovars can travel without a visa, to visa costs. It examined the refusal of the EU to offer Kosovo the same visa liberalisation process as it had provided for the other five Western Balkan countries and looked at activities of the Kosovo government aimed at movement towards a process leading to visa-free travel. In November 2009 we published a brief discussion paper with the findings:
The OSCE in Kosovo conducted a study on the implementation of the Strategy on the Reintegration of Repatriated Persons in Kosovo, which revealed many areas in need of improvement in this field.
Forum 2015, a Kosovo think-tank, did a survey of hundreds of people in Kosovo to find out about visa procedures and the costs of a visa. It also looked at Kosovo's wider visa situation and opportunities to change it.
In 2008, the Kosovar Stability Initiative (Iniciativa Kosovare per Stabilitet, IKS), a local Kosovo think-tank, published a study called "Image Matters!", which challenges international clichés and conventional wisdom about Kosovo.
Examining the levels of crime in the Balkans in 2008, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime came to the surprising conclusion that most of the region is safer than Western Europe with regard to conventional crime, and that organised crime activity is diminishing. UNODC also published two relevant reports in 2010, on drugs and on organised crime, which take the respective situation in Western Balkans countries into account.
ESI's report "Cutting the Lifeline" is based on years' of research into the family structure in Kosovo, migration patterns and the importance of remittances. Although it is a few years' old, it remains relevant as ever.
The Balkan Monitor of Gallup, one of the world's leading polling institutes, analysed attitudes towards migration in the Western Balkans in 2006 and 2008. The data shows that, unlike widely believed, relatively few people have concrete plans to leave their home countries.
The Secretariat of the EU Council publishes annually detailed statistical information about Schengen visa applications, approvals and denials.
A number of foundations and NGOs have worked against the isolation of the citizens of the Western Balkans, in particular the young generation. In collaboration with the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the Robert Bosch Stiftung organises every year a one-month trip in Europe for several hundred students from the Western Balkans, helping them to obtain visas and the mandatory health insurance, and providing them with train tickets and some pocket money.