Kosovo and the imminent ruling on status


How will Switzerland respond to the imminent ruling by the UN Security Council on Kosovo's status? There are some indications of a stronger bilateral engagement in Kosovo.

Various scenarios are being discussed by the Swiss administration. In the event of a rapid declaration of status by the Security Council, an international donor conference will be convened at short notice to mobilise funds for the creation of a state in Kosovo. For Switzerland, which for reasons related to migration policy is unlikely to stand on the sidelines, this would mean an increase in the Kosovo budget (currently CHF 14 million excluding Swisscoy). More funds are required, primarily for establishing state institutions and new communities in the wake of the planned decentralisation, according to Alfred Fritschi, SDC officer responsible for Kosovo. This is where Switzerland could make an important contribution. SDC also aims to strengthen its leading role through its agricultural development programme for labour-intensive vegetable and fruit farming. Negotiations are currently being conducted with the Danish development agency DANIDA, with the aim of concluding an implementation agreement to increase resources and extend the programme scope. Unemployment in rural regions is a severe problem.

But what if the ruling on status is delayed? The result may be social unrest and violent protests. Switzerland will be forced to reassess its involvement for security reasons. Active protection of minority rights (Serbians, Roma) will be accorded top priority in any crisis scenario.