Why Kosovo Is Lifting, But Will Likely Reinstate, Tariffs on Serbia

Edi Rama Albin Kurti
Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania receives his Kosovar counterpart, Albin Kurti, in Tirana, February 11 (Kancelarija Premijera)

Kosovo’s new prime minister, Albin Kurti, is partially lifting his predecessor’s 100 percent import tariff on Serbian goods. He has offered to lift the tariff completely if Serbia suspends its derecognition campaign. If it fails to reciprocate, the tariffs will be restored in June.

Since reciprocation would imply Serbian recognition of Kosovo’s independence, it seems inevitable the trade sanctions will be back soon. Read more “Why Kosovo Is Lifting, But Will Likely Reinstate, Tariffs on Serbia”

Why They Come: The Balkans’ Desperation

Belgrade Serbia
View of Belgrade, Serbia, August 22, 2011 (Serzhile)

Much of the world’s attention is fixed on the refugee crisis emanating from the warzones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. It’s a simple enough narrative for journalists: fleeing the bombs and bullets of the Islamic State or the Taliban, refugees swarm peaceful Europe, hoping for humanitarian salvation.

But that narrative overlooks a key failure of European migration policy. This wave of migration is hardly new. On the continent itself are states that have long propelled their citizens to jump the borders for greener pastures in Western Europe.

Three of Germany’s top five asylum-seeking countries of origin are not in the wartorn Middle East but rather the overlooked Balkans: Albania, Kosovo and Serbia. Macedonia, another Balkan state, ranks seventh.

What’s happening here? Why are fellow Europeans from peaceful states fleeing to Germany? Read more “Why They Come: The Balkans’ Desperation”