Euronews – How EU enlargement apathy could push Kosovo and Albania to join forces

Vetevendosje supporters in Prishtina, Kosovo
Vetevendosje supporters in Prishtina, Kosovo

Tirana, Albania | 08 April 2021 (Tirana Echo) – The latest analysis by Euronews, points out to changing dynamics in the Balkans in light of increasing hostility within the EU towards further enlargement and growing frustration among local populations in Albania and Kosovo, which may push the two countries towards an eventual union. 

The relationship between Kosovo’s newly appointed controversial PM Albin Kurti and Albania’s PM Edi Rama will be observed by many Western countries in determining whether such an union is at all possible. 

Euronews says that during a visit to Albania in March, Kosovo’s new prime minister, Albin Kurti, called on Albanians to vote for change as Kosovars did on February 14: “Albanians deserve better,” he said.

Kurti, an ethnic-Albanian along with around 90% of Kosovo’s 1.8 million population, urged voters to elect the members of his leftist-nationalist Vetevendosje movement who are running for seats in the Albanian parliament on April 25 on an anti-corruption mandate.

It was anti-corruption and opposition to entrenched political elites that led to Vetevendosje’s landslide election on February 14. Kurti now serves as prime minister while his ally, Vjosa Osmani, was sworn in as president on April 4. Vetevendosje has 58 seats in Kosovo’s 120-seat parliament, a working majority with the support of 10 non-Serb minority politicians.

In Albania, such a result is extremely unlikely, especially given that Vetevendosje is competing in just three counties with its leader, Boiken Abazi, running in the capital Tirana. Albania’s election later this month remains a two-horse race, with Edi Rama’s Socialist Party and the Democratic Party of Albania, under Lulzim Basha, the two main parties.

Vetevendosje, which has only been active for two years in Albania, may not even pass the 1% threshold to enter parliament, according to recent polls. 

Find the full Euronews analysis in here