A Relationship in Limbo: Challenges, Dynamics and Perspectives of Kosovo’s Integration into NATO

Open access


Since its declaration of independence Kosovo has clearly postured itself towards Euro-Atlantic integration with NATO, keeping its door open towards Western Balkan states. This integration process faces major challenges stemming from different dimensions: NATO’s internal unity and its stance towards Kosovo’s political status having direct impact in consensual decision making processes; current geopolitical tensions from a global perspective, particularly between the West and Russia; and Kosovo’s ability to fulfil NATO’s standards and criteria. These challenges might prove very difficult to overcome at least in the current global political and security environment. The objective of this paper is to discuss from legal and geopolitical perspectives the relations between Kosovo and NATO and the challenges, dynamics and perspective of NATO opening a formal integration process for Kosovo.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in Respect of Kosovo 2010 Advisory Opinion I.C.J. Reports 2010.

  • Augustine Z. P. 2014. Cyber Neutrality: A Textual Analysis of Traditional Jus in Bello Neutrality Rules Through a Purpose-Based Lens. Air Force Law Review 71(69): 71-93.

  • Borawski J. and Young. T. 2001. NATO after 2000: The Future of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance. Westpoint: Praeger.

  • Botticelli A. D. 2002. The Premier of the North Atlantic Treaty’s Article V: Is Article V still a Deterrent?. Suffolk Transnational Law Review 26(51): 51-80.

  • Bytyci F. 2017. NATO U.S. slap Kosovo’s move to create national army. Reuters 8 March [online]. Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-kosovo-army-idUSKBN16F1GE (Accessed 2 August 2017).

  • Clewlow A. 2010. The Kosovo Protection Corps: A Critical Study of its De-activation as a Transition. Hambros: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.

  • Dudziak M. L. 2012. Law Power and “Rumors of War”: Robert Jackson Confronts Law and Security after Nuremberg. 60 Buffalo Law Review 367.

  • European Commission n.d.a. European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Country Reports Kosovo. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/countries/package/index_en.htm (Accessed on 20 April 2017).

  • European Commission n.d.b. Kosovo. [online]. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/countries/detailed-countryinformation/kosovo/index_en.htm (Accessed 30 May 2017).

  • European Council 2015. Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) between the European Union and Kosovo signed. 27 October 229 [online]. Available at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/10/27-kosovo-eu-stabilisation-associationagreement/ (Accessed 30 May 2017).

  • Hopkins J. 2017. Kosovo Leader’s Military Maneuvers. Politico 4 April [online]. Available at: http://www.politico.eu/article/hashim-thacikosovo-leaders-military-maneuvers/ (Accessed 2 August 2017).

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iceland. Iceland and NATO. [online]. Available at: https://www.mfa.is/foreign-policy/security/iceland-nato/ (Accessed 1 April 2017).

  • Kennan G. F. 1947. The Sources of Soviet Conduct. Foreign Affairs July [online]. Available at: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russian-federation/1947-07-01/sources-soviet-conduct (Accessed 3 April 2017).

  • Kosovo Parliament 2008. Kosovo Declaration of Independence. Prishtina.

  • Kosovo Parliament 2008. Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo. Prishtina: Official Gazette.

  • NATO 1999. NATO’s role in relation to the conflict in Kosovo. [online]. Available at: http://www.nato.int/kosovo/history.htm (Accessed 15 May 2017).

  • NATO 2008. 1995 Study of NATO Enlargement. [online]. Available at: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_24733.htm (Accessed 20 May 2017).

  • NATO 2013. NATO Declares Kosovo Security Force Fully Operational. [online]. Available at: http://shape.nato.int/-nato-declares-kosovosecurity-force-fully-operational (Accessed 22 April 2017).

  • NATO 2014a. Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. [online]. Available at: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_49276.htm (Accessed 3 April 2017).

  • NATO 2014b. NATO’s relations with the United Nations. [online]. Available at: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_50321.htm (Accessed 20 May 2017).

  • NATO 2015a. Collective Defence-Article 5. [online]. Available at: http://www.nato.int/cps/is/natohq/topics_110496.htm (Accessed 3 June 2017).

  • NATO 2015b. Membership Action Plan (MAP). [online]. Available at: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_37356.htm (Accessed 10 May 2017).

  • NATO 2015c. The North Atlantic Council. [online] Available at: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_49763.htm (Accessed 20 May 2017).

  • NATO 2016. NATO Strategic Concept. [pdf]. Available at: http://www.nato.int/lisbon2010/strategic-concept-2010-eng.pdf (Accessed 15 May 2017).

  • NATO 2017. Montenegro Joins NATO as 29th Ally. [online]. Available at: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_144647.htm?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=smc&utm_campaign=170605+montenegro (Accessed 6 June 2017).

  • NATO n.d.a. NATO’s Role in Kosovo. [online]. Available at: http://www.nato.int/summit2009/topics_en/04-kosovo.html (Accessed 22 May 2017).

  • NATO n.d.b. KFOR Objectives. [online]. Available at: http://jfcnaples.nato.int/kfor/about-us/history/kfor-objectives (Accessed 25 May 2017).

  • NATO n.d.c. NATO Mission. [online]. Available at: http://www.shape.nato.int/kfor/about-us/mission (Accessed 20 April 2017).

  • NATO Public Diplomacy Division 2006. NATO Handbook. Brussels.

  • Office of the Prime Minister of Kosovo 2012. Agreed Conclusions on Regional Representation and Cooperation of 24 February 2012. [pdf]. Available at: http://www.kryeministri-ks.net/repository/docs/Konkluzionet_0210_arranzhime.pdf (Accessed 30 May 2017).

  • Office of the Prime Minister of Kosovo. The Agreements of the Technical Dialogue and the Agreement of Dialogue of Normalization. [online] Available at: http://www.kryeministri-ks.net/?page=25 (Accessed 30 May 2017).

  • Sputnik 2013. Kosovo’s ‘Irresponsible’ Intention to Create Army Imperils Europe - Moscow. Sputniknews 16 March [online]. Available at: https://sputniknews.com/politics/201703161051653326-kosovoarmy-balkans-europe-russia/ (Accessed 1 August 2017).

  • Stavridis J. 2016. NATO’s Turn to Attack. Foreign Policy 14 November [online]. Available at: http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/14/natosturn-to-attack-paris-terrorist-isis/ (Accessed 15 May 2017).

  • Teson F. R. 2009. Kosovo: A powerful precedent for the Doctrine of Humanitarian Intervention. Amsterdam Law Forum 1(2): 42-48.

  • The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia v. Greece (2011) ICJ General List no. 142.

  • The North Atlantic Treaty 34 UNTS 243 4 April 1949.

  • Todd G. H. 2009. Armed Attack in Cyberspace: Deterring Asymmetric Warfare with an Asymmetric Definition. Air Force Law Review 64(65): 66-101.

  • UN Charter 1 UNTS XVI 24 October 1945.

  • UNSC Resolution 1244 S/RES/1244 10 June 1999.

  • Walker E. W. 2015. Between East & West: NATO Enlargement & the Geopolitics of the Ukraine Crisis. E-International Relations 13 April [online]. Available at: http://www.e-ir.info/2015/04/13/betweeneast-west-nato-enlargement-the-geopolitics-of-the-ukraine-crisis/ (Accessed 15 March 2017).

  • Wiseman J. W. 2001. Transformation of the Kosovo Liberation Army: A Way to an End. Carlisle Barracks PA: Army War College.

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.31

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.114
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.418

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 241 115 7
PDF Downloads 96 59 7