Nation profile

Kosovo
Kosovë

General information
Population
1,739,825 inhabitants (Kosovo census 2011)
Area
10,887 km²
Institutions
Government of Kosovo and Assembly (Parliament) of Kosovo
Major cities
Pristina, Mitrovica, Decani, Gracanica, Pec, Prizren
State administration
Kosovo (not recognized by Serbia)
Territorial languages
Albanian, Serbo-Croatian, Turkish, Romany, Gorani
Official languages
Albanian and Serbo-Croatian (officially called Serbian) at the state level
Major religion
Islam, Eastern Orthodox Church
National day
17 February (Independence Day)

Introduction

Kosovo is a Balkan territory that has proclaimed itself independent from Serbia twice: in 1992 and 2008. More than 100 states in the world recognize the independence of Kosovo. The others regard Kosovo as a Serbian province.

Both Albanian and Serbian nationalism consider Kosovo to be their own territory.

Albanian nationalism argues that Kosovo's first settlers were the Illyrians, and conceives them to be modern Albanians' ancestors. Furthermore, Albanian nationalism points out that the majority (over 90%) of the current population of Kosovo is Albanian.

Serbian nationalism, however, denies the validity of the Illyrian argument, and tends to emphasize that the ancestors of today's Serbs reached Kosovo over the 6th and 7th centuries, long before the territory had an Albanian majority (which happened in the 19th century).

The existence of Kosovo as an administrative unit dates back to 1946, when Yugoslavia established the autonomous district of Kosovo and Metohija. In 1963 the territory was upgraded to the status of autonomous province.

At the time of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Kosovo proclaimed its independence (1992), which was recognized only by Albania. A Kosovo Albanian militia, the KLA or UÇK, waged a war against Yugoslav forces, which ended in 1999 after NATO forces defeated the Yugoslav army. An interim UN administration was established, and it lasted until 2008, when the country again declared independence, this time with recognition by a majority of the other states of the world.

Politics

President: Hashim Thaci, Kosovo Democratic Party, PDK (since 2016)
Prime Minister: Isa Mustafa, Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK (since 2014)
Political system: independent state. Not recognized by its former parent state (Serbia).
Distribution of seats in the Assembly (2014). 120 seats:
Democratic Party of Kosovo and allies (PDK) - 37
Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) - 30
Vetëvendosje - 16
Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) - 11
Serbian List - 9
Initiative for Kosovo (NISMA) - 6
Turkish Democratic Party of Kosovo (KDTP) - 2
Vakat Alliance - 2
Democratic Progressive Party - 1
Ashkali Democratic Party of Kosovo - 1
New Democratic Party - 1
Ashkali Party for Integration - 1
Coalition for Gora - 1
Kosovar New Romani Party - 1
Government: coalition of PDK and allies, LDK, Serbian List, KDTP and Vakat Alliance