Happy 5th Independence Anniversary, the Successes and Failures

Five years ago on February 17th 2008, the hopes and dreams of Kosovar people were at their all time high. Five years ago Kosovars started hoping that one day their country will be an equal among nations.

On this important date it is important to celebrate the successes but not ignore the failures.

The successes have been many: the recognition by 98 UN Member states, among with other non-members; the membership to different organisations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; and the adherence to a European outlook.

The five years of independence have also brought stability and peace, and most importantly, a clear direction for the bruised Balkan nations, with different levels of success.

Five years is a long time in state building and development. Miracles can and have happened in five years. Examples are abundant around the world.

No amount of celebration and self-congratulation can void the fact that there have been failures.

And failures have been many: the standard of living in Kosovo has increased only slightly; unemployment is still among the highest in Europe; Kosovo is not present in any of the ISO standards; nationals of this small republic can travel to a handfull of countries without needing a visa; Kosovo is isolated from the rest of Europe in many ways; the development, foreign, security and other policies have been insufficient in delivering their goals; the political spectrum has not nurtured growth and development, instead, it has nurtured factions and infighting. The list is easy to add to. But it shall stop here.

Have a happy independence day, enjoy it and celebrate it. Let’s not forget the work that needs to be done to celebrate the 10th anniversary with more successes and fewer failures.