29 June 2010
OSI-ESI event in Brussels: Kosovo - Breaking the Isolation
Living in a Ghetto. Photo: Forum 2015
Living in a Ghetto. Photo: Forum 2015

ESI senior analyst Besa Shahini will participate in an event in Brussels organized by the Open Society Institute and the European Stability Initiative. This panel will discuss the practical, economic, and social implications of current visa restrictions on Kosovo, and will explore the policy options available that will break this isolation.

The panel discussion, preceded by a presentation of the documentary Living in a Ghetto, produced by Forum 2015, a project of the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS).

The Western Balkans are moving towards their European goal. Visa liberalization is now a reality in Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia following their fulfillment of a series of tough conditions. Bosnia and Albania have been given positive signals that after the summer they too will be added to the Schengen white list. Where does this leave Kosovo? Increasingly isolated within their own region and within Europe, Kosovars have been denied a process leading towards visa-free travel. They are forced to live in a physical and intellectual ghetto.

After viewing the daily impact on Kosovars in a brief film, the panel and following discussion will explore the policy options available to move beyond the isolation of Europe's newest country.


  • Bajram Rexhepi, Kosovo Interior Minister
  • Tanja Fajon, Member of the European Parliament
  • Veton Surroi, Chair of the Foreign Policy Club, a Pristina-based think tank
  • Luan Shllaku, KFOS, Executive Director
  • European Commission Representative
  • Besa Shahini, ESI Senior Analyst
  • Heather Grabbe, Director, OSI-Brussels (Chair)

Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Brussels
Date: 29 June 2010
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Please RSVP to Neil Campbell / Tarana Ahmadova

A propos d'ESI
Photo credits
Alan Grant is an Irish photographer who travelled extensively in the Balkans and other countries and regions of the world. Thanks to him, ESI is able to show fascinating pictures of the Balkans: the facades of Tirana, the painted mosques of Travnik, the fabulous old houses of Plovdiv and the spectacular blue of water - dark in the Bay of Kotor, emerald in the river valleys of Bosnia, deep blue in Ohrid, twinkling in the Aegean Sea and on the Bosporus.

You can find out more about Alan Grant on his websites:
Jonathan Lewis lives between London and Istanbul. He moved to London and spent many years studying photography and now specialises in photojournalism, documentary photography and commercial work for a wide variety of private and commercial clients in the UK, Europe and Turkey. His work has appeared in a number of magazines and publications and is used on the ESI website as well.

You can find out more about Jonathan Lewis on his website www.jonathanlewisphoto.com