The perpetual theatre of Kosovo

‘Teatro Stabile del Kosovo’ – ‘The Perpetual Theatre of Kosovo’ – is filmed, directed and edited by award-winning Italian reporter, Roberto Valussi, who travelled extensively throughout Kosovo for more than a year during its making. It sheds light upon the political situation in Kosovo by examining a range of factors, including internal politics, the Balkan strategy of Serbia, as well as the roles of international actors, such as the United Nations and the European Union.

By Roberto Valussi

Synopsis

‘The Perpetual Theatre of Kosovo’ covers political developments from the war in 1999 to the complex diplomatic play we see today. Different international actors have appeared on the stage, including the biggest mission of United Nations and now the European Union. The USA has imposed its power but is no longer the main player, whereas Serbia’s role, claiming sovereignty throughout, has remained constant.

International law, history and political strategies have determined each single script. Since they became involved, the approach of  the US, UN and EU has been informed by the “stability at any cost” policy, which has been principally achieved by co-opting the local ruling militiamen into the political class, regardless of their questionable past. Unfortunately this policy has meant no development whatsoever for the country, which was expected to recover in the light of the exceptional amount of foreign aid received throughout the years.

Now, after more than ten years, a turning point is close. In 2009 the EU assumed responsibility for establishing the rule of law in Kosovo from the USA and UN. The European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) is the body now charged with this difficult task. EULEX has to balance its law enforcement activities with the need of preserving political stability. It has to tread carefully as implementing change by mandate would imply dissolving, then rebuilding most of the Kosovar political class. This potentially risks losing control of the country, which would compromise development aims.

‘The Perpetual Theatre of Kosovo’ illustrates the dense interplay between national and international actors that shape the peculiar Kosovo’s political equilibrium. Other important aspects of the country’s international status, such as the EU integration strategy of the Balkans; potential EU membership for Serbia and Kosovo; Serbia’s regional intentions and the division among Serbs of Kosovo are also covered in depth.

The Perpetual Theatre of Kosovo – Part One

The Perpetual Theatre of Kosovo – Part Two

The Perpetual Theatre of Kosovo – Part Three

Roberto Valussi is an Italian freelance journalist, currently based in London. He graduated in International Relations at the University of Bologna. His main focuses are Balkan politics and European migration policies. For four years he worked as a broadcaster for national radio in Italy (Radio Popolare), while collaborating with different magazines and websites, including the well-known media research center, Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso. He has won two writing awards – ‘Write and Sing’ in 2010 and ‘Istantanee dal Mondo’ in 2009.

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