Fighting for a Seat at the Table: International Representation of Kosovo
Chinese Journal of International Law, Oxford University Press, Vol. 12/3 (2013), pp. 543-570
20 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2020
Date Written: July 31, 2013
This article examines the issue of international representation of Kosovo as it evolved from the establishment of an international administration by UNSC Resolution 1244 in June 1999, to Kosovo’s declaration of independence of 17 February 2008, until the present day. It summarizes external relations powers exercised by UNMIK and analyses the changes brought by Kosovo’s declaration of independence. In particular, it deals with the issue of Kosovo’s representation in regional fora. The article will also demonstrate how the issue of international representation has influenced the wider story of Kosovo’s contested statehood and, in particular, its on-going dispute with Serbia. Moreover, it will also discuss the EU’s involvement in the dispute and how the prospect of potential EU membership/association for Serbia and Kosovo, respectively, has served as a powerful incentive in the negotiations. In that sense it will show how this particular dispute has and can be managed by external and internal actors and what methods and incentives can facilitate compromise and agreement between the parties, how their own positions can either solidify or evolve, and how external mediators can either exacerbate the problem or contribute to the solution. The article also argues that conflicting attitudes towards international representation of Kosovo concern not just its external relations but also relate to the legitimacy of its independence, its statehood and its representatives. It shows that despite disputed statehood there is undoubtedly a ‘creeping legitimacy’ of Kosovo and its representatives even among those who are vigorously opposed to Kosovo’s independence.
Keywords: Kosovo, Serbia, UNSC Resolution 1244, UDI, Brussels Agreement
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation