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What status for Kosovo?

01 October 2001
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There is no doubt that the terrorist attacks of 11 September against America have drastically changed the international strategic order. It is not yet possible to discern the scale of this revolution, as new developments in the coming weeks may have further profound effects on the international system as a whole. Nevertheless, whatever the new priorities that European democracies have been addressing since the attacks, the traditional crises remain, and in the first place, for the Union, the insistent problem of what to do about Kosovo. It is the almost taboo question of the final status of Kosovo that is examined in this Chaillot Paper, edited by Dimitrios Triantaphyllou, a research fellow at the Institute, with the participation of the best known experts on the Balkans. Although written before the tragic events of 11 September, the contributions to this paper are still highly topical and pertinent. Of course the various authors do not all have the same vision of Kosovo’s final status but all agree that, whatever the solution recommended, the issue must now be openly tackled by the international community, in particular EU member countries. On the eve of the elections of 17 November, this Chaillot Paper constitutes a highly detailed survey of all the arguments for and against the independence of Kosovo. Going beyond the immediate future, new questions arising directly from the events of 11 September will of course have a bearing on the future stability of the Balkans and management of the area. The first concerns American policy.