Written by Economics, Uncategorized

Kosovo – Albania Relations: Special, Natural and Troubled

ALFONC RAKAJAt first glance, bilateral relations between Kosovo and Albania resemble a swiss watch that fails to fulfill its most basic function: that of telling the time. To outsiders, bilateral relations between Pristina and Tirana are exemplary, but those familiar with the topic, these ties suffer as a result of overreaching patronage systems built by both. Narrow political interests resulting from this system are hampering bilateral trade, development and obstructing competition. As trade tensions become politicized, the risk of protectionism increases. Unrepresentative political elites would be wise to avoid an escalation which could amount to self-destruction. Political RelationsOn the surface, intergovernmental relations between Pristina and Tirana are excellent. Yet, as the prolonged trade tensions indicate, political elites on either side of the border exploit the relationship for political reasons. As a result, the implementation of bilateral agreements is a poor match for the accompanying rich rhetoric. There are more than 50 agreements signed between both countries. Indicative of this unparalleled level of engagement are the frequent meetings, exchanges and continued participation at respective ceremonies by high ranking officials, both in their official and personal capacity.Notable agreements signed in the last year alone include; the agreement to run a joint foreign policy, which……

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