Albania, Kosovo citizens favour national unification - Gazeta Express

Albania, Kosovo citizens favour national unification

Gazeta Express

09/01/2020 13:54

More than 60 percent of citizens in Albania and over 50 percent of citizens in Kosovo want to achieve national unification. That’s according to a new survey conducted by the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS) and the Open Society Foundations in Albania, Gazeta Express reports.

Regarding the desire to achieve national unification, 63% of respondents in Albania and 54% of respondents in Kosovo state that they want to achieve it. If given a chance to vote in a referendum, 75% of Albanians in Albania and 64% of Kosovo Albanians would vote in favour of national unification. Confidence falls in both countries when participants are asked how achievable they think national unification is, with only 23% of Albanians in Albania and 17% of Kosovo Albanians believing that such a thing is possible.

Lexo Edhe:

According to the survey results for Albanians in Albania who believe that national unification is possible, the international community is seen as a key factor enabling it. Whereas to Kosovo Albanians, the main factor that can achieve such a scenario are the leaders of Kosovo and Albania. The national unification and EU accession of Albania and Kosovo are seen as processes which contradict each other by 42% of respondents in Kosovo and 37% of respondents in Albania. Albanians of Albania, to a greater extent than Kosovo Albanians, tend to view these two processes as complementary.

The Kosovo Foundation for Open Society (KFOS) and the Open Society Foundation for Albania (OSFA) completed an extensive research in Kosovo and Albania at the end of 2018 to measure the interaction and attitudes of citizens of both countries on a range of issues, such as: interaction, social distance, perception of neighbours, attitudes towards official cooperation of the two countries and attitudes towards national unification. 2,504 citizens were surveyed in both countries in October and November 2018: 1,200 in Albania and 1,304 in Kosovo (1,004 Albanians and 300 Serbs).

Perception of Albania’s role in Kosovo/ cooperation

Regarding Albania’s official attitude towards Kosovo, the citizens of both countries agree that Albania plays the role of ‘big brother‘ to Kosovo. To Kosovo Serbs, Albania seems to interfere a lot in Kosovo’s internal affairs, but Albanians of both countries disagree. The majority of respondents in Albania and Kosovo (of Albanian ethnicity) consider that relations between the two countries have not developed sufficiently and that there is still work to be done. The majority of respondents (76% in Albania and 59% in Kosovo) think that developing close relations between Albania and Kosovo benefits both countries equally.

Attitude towards Kosovo-Serbia dialogue

Recent months’ debates on the possibility of border correction have not been well received by Albanians in Kosovo (over 70% against) and Albania (over 52% against), nor by Kosovo Serbs (over 80% against). However, the majority of those polled in both Kosovo and Albania do not like the current ‘status quo’ in relations between Kosovo and Serbia and expect changes to be made, but not the kind which would affect territorial integrity. /GazetaExpress/