4 February 2009
"Kosovo - Cutting the lifeline" – Film screening at the European Commission Liaison Office in Pristina
Patriarchal family
Patriarchal family

"Kosovo - Cutting the lifeline"
(52 minutes, in English)


"a compelling documentary series about the Balkans and Turkey”
Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement

"These are documentaries all of us citizens of the European Union should have the opportunity to see"
Giuliano Amato, former Italian Prime Minister

Return to Europe Series
Winner of the 2008 Erasmus EuroMedia Award


on Wednesday, 4 February 2009, at 17.30

further films from the series will be screened weekly – on Wednesdays at 17:30
11 February: "Istanbul: Truth, fear and hope"
18 February: "Serbia – Exit Europe"


When Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008, the conflict between Serbs and Kosovo Albanians once again captured the attention of the world's media.

What does independence mean for Kosovo's stability? What kind of future awaits this new country? What challenges must the future EU-Mission face in order to solve the country's problems? The documentary approaches these questions by focusing on one of Kosovo's central problems – the catastrophic state of its economy, with the highest rates of unemployment in Europe, especially among women and young people.

The film visits different families whose personal stories demonstrate the growing strains and pressures building up across Kosovo. Lacking a social safety net provided by the state, people have no other option than to remain rooted in the old structures of their large families.

At the same time people have little trust in the state and its institutions. The independence movement Vetevendosje ("Self-determination") and its leader Albin Kurti demand the withdrawal of the international community.

Interviews with Kosovo's Minister for Education Enver Hoxhaj, and the author Migjen Kelmendi, as well as visits to KFOR-troops and the Serbian enclave Gracanica near the capital Pristina, all show the importance of economic problems for Kosovo's stability. Their resolution – which must include an end to the country's isolation – will determine the future of Europe's youngest state.

"Kosovo – Cutting the lifeline" is a part of the TV project "Return to Europe", a series of 10 one-hour TV documentaries featuring countries and cities in the Balkans. The aim of the series is to acquaint viewers with this fascinating region and its peoples, their recent past and their struggle for a better future in Europe. The series is supported by ERSTE Stiftung and has been jointly produced by the German-language satellite channel 3sat, Austria's public broadcaster ORF and the TV production company pre-TV, in cooperation with the European Stability Initiative (ESI), upon whose research and analysis these films are based.

Please confirm your participation by e-mail to Maja Pavlovic, no later than Tuesday, 3 February.


Wednesday, 4 February 2009




European Commission Liaison Office to Kosovo (ECLO),
1 Kosovo Street,
10000 Pristina



Welcome by Renzo Daviddi, Head of the EC Liaison Office to Kosovo and Verena Knaus, Senior Analyst, European Stability Initiative (ESI)