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Kosovo, See : Flags, Maps

Kosovo (Europe)

Introduction ::Kosovo


Ethnic Serbs migrated to the territories of modern Kosovo in the 7th century but did not fully incorporate them into the Serbian realm until the early 13th century. During the medieval period, Kosovo became the center of a Serbian Empire and saw the construction of many important Serb religious sites, including many architecturally significant Serbian Orthodox monasteries. The defeat of Serbian forces at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 led to five centuries of Ottoman rule during which large numbers of Turks and Albanians moved to Kosovo. By the end of the 19th century, Albanians replaced the Serbs as the dominant ethnic group in Kosovo. Serbia reacquired control over Kosovo from the Ottoman Empire during the First Balkan War of 1912. Kosovo became an autonomous province of Serbia with status almost equivalent to that of a republic under the 1974 Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Despite legislative concessions, Albanian nationalism increased in the 1980s, which led to riots and calls for Kosovo's independence. At the same time, Serb nationalist leaders, such as Slobodan MILOSEVIC, exploited Kosovo Serb claims of maltreatment to secure votes from supporters, many of whom viewed Kosovo as their cultural heartland. Under MILOSEVIC's leadership, Serbia instituted a new constitution in 1989 that revoked Kosovo's status as an autonomous province of Serbia. Kosovo Albanian leaders responded in 1991 by organizing a referendum that declared Kosovo independent. Under MILOSEVIC, Serbia carried out repressive measures against the Albanians in the early 1990s as the unofficial Kosovo government, led by Ibrahim RUGOVA, used passive resistance in an attempt to try to gain international assistance and recognition of an independent Kosovo. Albanians dissatisfied with RUGOVA's passive strategy in the 1990s created the Kosovo Liberation Army and launched an insurgency. Starting in 1998, Serbian military, police, and paramilitary forces conducted a counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres and massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians. Approximately 800,000 Albanians were forced from their homes in Kosovo during this time. International attempts to mediate the conflict failed, and MILOSEVIC's rejection of a proposed settlement led to a three-month NATO military campaign against Serbia beginning in March 1999 that forced Serbia to agree to withdraw its military and police forces from Kosovo. UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) placed Kosovo under a transitional administration, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), pending a determination of Kosovo's future status. A UN-led process began in late 2005 to determine Kosovo's final status. The negotiations ran in stages between 2006 and 2007, but ended without agreement between Belgrade and Pristina. On 17 February 2008, the Kosovo Assembly declared Kosovo independent. Since then, over sixty countries have recognized Kosovo, and it has joined the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Serbia continues to reject Kosovo's independence and it subsequently sought an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality under international law of Kosovo's independence declaration. In July 2010 the ICJ ruled that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate international law.

Geography ::Kosovo


Southeast Europe, between Serbia and Macedonia

Geographic coordinates:
42 35 N, 21 00 E

Map references:



total: 10,887 sq km country comparison to the world: 168 land: 10,887 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Delaware

Land boundaries:

total: 702 km

border countries: Albania 112 km, Macedonia 159 km, Montenegro 79 km, Serbia 352 km


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


influenced by continental air masses resulting in relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall and hot, dry summers and autumns; Mediterranean and alpine influences create regional variation; maximum rainfall between October and December


flat fluvial basin with an elevation of 400-700 m above sea level surrounded by several high mountain ranges with elevations of 2,000 to 2,500 m

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Drini i Bardhe/Beli Drim 297 m (located on the border with Albania)

highest point: Gjeravica/Deravica 2,656 m

Natural resources:

nickel, lead, zinc, magnesium, lignite, kaolin, chrome, bauxite

People ::Kosovo


1,815,048 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 148

Age structure:

0-14 years: 27.7% (male 260,678/female 239,779)

15-64 years: 65.7% (male 617,890/female 567,939)

65 years and over: 6.6% (male 50,463/female 68,089) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 26.3 years

male: 25.8 years

female: 26.8 years (2010 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.086 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female

total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2010 est.)


noun: Kosovar (Albanian), Kosovac (Serbian)

adjective: Kosovar (Albanian), Kosovski (Serbian)

note: Kosovan, a neutral term, is sometimes also used as a noun or adjective

Ethnic groups:

Albanians 92%, other (Serb, Bosniak, Gorani, Roma, Turk, Ashkali,
Egyptian) 8% (2008)


Muslim, Serbian Orthodox, Roman Catholic


Albanian (official), Serbian (official), Bosnian, Turkish, Roma


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 91.9%

male: 96.6%

female: 87.5% (2007 Census)

Government ::Kosovo

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Kosovo

conventional short form: Kosovo

local long form: Republika e Kosoves (Republika Kosovo)

local short form: Kosova (Kosovo)

Government type:



name: Pristina (Prishtine, Prishtina)

geographic coordinates: 42 40 N, 21 10 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

30 municipalities (komunat, singular - komuna in Albanian; opstine,
singular - opstina in Serbian); Decan (Decani), Dragash (Dragas),
Ferizaj (Urosevac), Fushe Kosove (Kosovo Polje), Gjakove (Dakovica),
Gjilan (Gnjilane), Gllogovc/Drenas (Glogovac), Istog (Istok),
Kacanik, Kamenice/Dardana (Kamenica), Kline (Klina), Leposaviq
(Leposavic), Lipjan (Lipljan), Malisheve (Malisevo), Mitrovice
(Mitrovica), Novoberde (Novo Brdo), Obiliq (Obilic), Peje (Pec),
Podujeve (Podujevo), Prishtine (Pristina), Prizren, Rahovec
(Orahovac), Shterpce (Strpce), Shtime (Stimlje), Skenderaj (Srbica),
Suhareke (Suva Reka), Viti (Vitina), Vushtrri (Vucitrn), Zubin
Potok, Zvecan

note - the Government of Kosovo has announced the establishment of eight additional municipalities in accordance with UN Special Envoy AHTISAARI's mandated decentralization process; the boundaries of several municipalities are pending final approval; the municipalities are: Gracanice (Gracanica), Hani i Elezit (Dzeneral Jankovic), Junik, Kllokot-Verboc (Klokot-Vrbovac), Mamushe (Mamusa), Partes, and Ranillug (Ranilug); in addition, the current Mitrovice (Mitrovica) municipality is to be split into Mitrovice (Mitrovica) North and Mitrovice (Mitrovica) South


17 February 2008 (from Serbia)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 17 February (2008)


adopted by the Kosovo Assembly on 9 April 2008; effective 15 June 2008

Legal system:

evolving legal system based on terms of former UN Special Envoy Martti AHTISAARI's Plan for Kosovo's supervised independence; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Acting President Jakup KRASNIQI (since 27 September 2010)

head of government: Prime Minister Hashim THACI (since 9 January 2008)

cabinet: ministers; elected by the Kosovo Assembly (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the president elected for a five-year term by the Kosovo Assembly; election last held on 9 January 2008 (next to be held - a special election in 2011); the prime minister elected by the Kosovo Assembly

election results: Fatmir SEJDIU reelected president after three rounds; note - resigned from the office of president on 27 Septermber 2010; Hashim THACI elected prime minister by the Assembly

Legislative branch:

unicameral national Assembly (120 seats; 100 seats directly elected, 10 seats guaranteed for ethnic Serbs, 10 seats guaranteed for other ethnic minorities; members to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 17 November 2007 (next expected to be held in 2011)

election results: percent of vote by party - PDK 34.3%, LDK 22.6%, AKR 12.3%, LDD 10.0%, AAK 9.6%, other 11.2%; seats by party - PDK 37, LDK 25, AKR 13, LDD 11, AAK 10, other 4

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; district courts; municipal courts

note: the Kosovo Constitution dictates that the Supreme Court of Kosovo is the highest judicial authority, and provides for a Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) that proposes to the president candidates for appointment or reappointment as judges and prosecutors; the KJC is also responsible for decisions on the promotion and transfer of judges and disciplinary proceedings against judges; at least 15 percent of Supreme Court and district court judges shall be from non-majority communities

Political parties and leaders:

Albanian Christian Democratic Party of Kosovo or PShDK [Ton MARKU];
Alliance for a New Kosovo or AKR [Behgjet PACOLLI]; Alliance for the
Future of Kosovo or AAK [Ramush HARADINAJ]; Alliance of Independent
Social Democrats of Kosovo and Metohija or SDSKIM [Ljubisa ZIVIC];
Bosniak Vakat Coalition or DSV [Sadik IDRIZI]; Citizens' Initiative
of Gora or GIG [Murselj HALJILJI]; Democratic Action Party or SDA
[Numan BALIC]; Democratic League of Dardania or LDD [Nexhat DACI];
Democratic League of Kosovo or LDK [Fatmir SEJDIU]; Democratic Party
of Ashkali of Kosovo or PDAK [Berat QERIMI]; Democratic Party of
Bosniaks [Dzezair MURATI]; Democratic Party of Kosovo or PDK [Hashim
THACI]; Independent Liberal Party or SLS [Slobadan PETROVIC]; Kosovo
Democratic Turkish Party of KDTP [Mahir YAGCILAR]; New Democratic
Initiative of Kosovo or IRDK [Xhevdet NEZIRAJ]; New Democratic Party
or ND [Predrag JOVIC]; New Kosovo Alliance or AKR [Behxhet PACOLLI];
Reform Party Ora [Teuta SAHATCIA]; Serb National Party or SNS
[Mihailo SCEPANOVIC]; Serbian Democratic Party of Kosovo and
Metohija or SDS KiM [Slavisa PETKOVIC]; Serbian Kosovo and Metohija
Party or SKMS [Dragisa MIRIC]; Serbian National Council of Northern
Kosovo and Metohija or SNV [Milan IVANOVIC]; Social Democratic Party
of Kosovo or PSDK [Agim CEKU]; Socialist Party of Kosovo or PSK
[Emrush XHEMAJLI]; United Roma Party of Kosovo or PREBK [Haxhi Zylfi

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedom (human rights);
Humanitarian Law Centre (human rights); Movement for
Self-Determination; Serb National Council (SNV)

International organization participation:

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Avni SPAHIU

chancery: 1101 30th Street NW, Suites 330/340, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: 202-380-3581
FAX: 202-380-3628

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher William DELL

embassy: Arberia/Dragodan, Nazim Hikmet 30, Pristina, Kosovo

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [381] 38 59 59 3000
FAX: [381] 38 549 890

Flag description:

centered on a dark blue field is the geographical shape of Kosovo in a gold color surmounted by six white, five-pointed stars arrayed in a slight arc; each star represents one of the major ethnic groups of Kosovo: Albanians, Serbs, Turks, Gorani, Roma, and Bosniaks

National anthem:

name: "Europe"

lyrics/music: none/Mendi MENGJIQI

note: adopted 2008; Kosovo chose to not include lyrics in its anthem so as not to offend minority ethnic groups in the country

Economy ::Kosovo

Economy - overview:

Over the past few years Kosovo's economy has shown significant progress in transitioning to a market-based system and maintaining macroeconomic stability, but it is still highly dependent on the international community and the diaspora for financial and technical assistance. Remittances from the diaspora - located mainly in Germany and Switzerland - are estimated to account for about 14% of GDP, and donor-financed activities and aid for another 7.5%. Kosovo's citizens are the poorest in Europe with an average annual per capita income of only $2,500. Unemployment, around 40% of the population, is a significant problem that encourages outward migration and black market activity. Most of Kosovo's population lives in rural towns outside of the capital, Pristina. Inefficient, near-subsistence farming is common - the result of small plots, limited mechanization, and lack of technical expertise. With international assistance, Kosovo has been able to privatize 50% of its state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by number, and over 90% of SOEs by value. Minerals and metals - including lignite, lead, zinc, nickel, chrome, aluminum, magnesium, and a wide variety of construction materials - once formed the backbone of industry, but output has declined because of ageing equipment and insufficient investment. A limited and unreliable electricity supply due to technical and financial problems is a major impediment to economic development. Kosovo's Ministry of Energy and Mining has solicited expressions of interest from private investors to develop a new power plant in order to address Kosovo and the region's unmet and growing demands for power. The official currency of Kosovo is the euro, but the Serbian dinar is also used in Serb enclaves. Kosovo's tie to the euro has helped keep core inflation low. Kosovo has one of the most open economies in the region, and continues to work with the international community on measures to improve the business environment and attract foreign investment. Kosovo has kept the government budget in balance as a result of efficient value added tax (VAT) collection at the borders and inefficient budget execution. In order to help integrate Kosovo into regional economic structures, UNMIK signed (on behalf of Kosovo) its accession to the Central Europe Free Trade Area (CEFTA) in 2006. However, Serbia and Bosnia have refused to recognize Kosovo's customs stamp or extend reduced tariff privileges for Kosovo products under CEFTA. In July 2008, Kosovo received pledges of $1.9 billion from 37 countries in support of its reform priorities. In June 2009, Kosovo joined the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and Kosovo began servicing its share of the former Yugoslavia's debt.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$5.3 billion (2008); $4.7 billion country comparison to the world: 158

GDP (official exchange rate):

$3.237 billion (2007 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$2,500 (2007) country comparison to the world: 174

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 12.9%

industry: 22.6%

services: 64.5% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

NA (2009 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 16.5%

industry: NA

services: NA (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate:

16.6% (2009 est.); 14% country comparison to the world: 157

Population below poverty line:

35% (2007 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
30 (FY05/06)

Investment (gross fixed):

15.2% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 127

Public debt:

NA% of GDP

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.3% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 150

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

14.09% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 55 13.79% (31 December 2008 est.)

Agriculture - products:

wheat, corn, berries, potatoes, peppers


mineral mining, construction materials, base metals, leather, machinery, appliances

Electricity - production:

832 million kWh (2006) country comparison to the world: 149

Electricity - consumption:

4.281 billion kWh (2006) country comparison to the world: 115

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2007) country comparison to the world: 158

Oil - consumption:

NA bbl/day

Oil - proved reserves:

NA bbl

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2007) country comparison to the world: 169

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2007) country comparison to the world: 123

Natural gas - proved reserves:

NA cu m

Current account balance:

-$2.716 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 165 -$2.408 billion (2009 est.)


$527 million (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities:

mining and processed metal products, scrap metals, leather products, machinery, appliances


$2.6 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, wood, petroleum, chemicals, machinery and electrical equipment

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

Debt - external:

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$21.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 67 $21.32 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.7715 (2010), 0.7338 (2009), 0.6827 (2008), 0.7345 (2007)

Communications ::Kosovo

Telephones - main lines in use:

106,300 (2006) country comparison to the world: 143

Telephones - mobile cellular:

562,000 (2007) country comparison to the world: 157

Transportation ::Kosovo


8 (2010) country comparison to the world: 165

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 2 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 4

under 914 m: 4 (2010)


2 (2010)


total: 430 km country comparison to the world: 116 standard gauge: 430 km 1.435-m gauge (2007)


total: 1,926 km country comparison to the world: 175 paved: 1,668 km

unpaved: 258 km (2009)

Military ::Kosovo

Military branches:

Kosovo Security Force (2010)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 429,645

females age 16-49: 389,071 (2010 est.)

Transnational Issues ::Kosovo

Disputes - international:

Serbia with several other states protest the US and other states' recognition of Kosovo's declaring itself as a sovereign and independent state in February 2008; ethnic Serbian municipalities along Kosovo's northern border challenge final status of Kosovo-Serbia boundary; several thousand NATO-led KFOR peacekeepers under UNMIK authority continue to keep the peace within Kosovo between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serb minority in Kosovo; Kosovo and Macedonia completed demarcation of their boundary in September 2008

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDP's: 21,000 (2007)


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