What does the European integration mean to you? Focus Kosovo asked a varied group of Kosovars for their understanding of European integration. Here are some of their remarks.
European integration for me means a better quality of life for Kosovo. By quality I don’t mean to be wealthier. I mean the quality of life would be on par with the European level which means a richer cultural life, a better social welfare system, and better education.
Birol Urcan, Pristina
Integration would mean a better standard of living. There would be no borders and therefore, fewer problems. Kosovo in Europe would be enhanced.
Suzana Harqi, Pristina
In Kosovo today there is noone that can say he or she is living freely. As long as we don’t live in a free country, European integration means nothing to me.
Besnik Duraku, Pristina
When I consider that I will live my whole life here, I would like to imagine services that are on a European level and transparency in all affairs. This can only be provided through European integration.
Arjeta Doroci, Pristina
European integration is important if we have an independent country. If we are to be linked to Serbia and Montenegro, then it is better to struggle by ourselves for another 30 years.
Elvana Lataj, Pristina
I hope that the International Monetary Fund continues to support Kosovo with donations and guidance on different long-term projects so that Kosovo can develop and achieve European integration.
Agon Femiju, Pristina
The Balkan region is in its transition phase towards democratisation and stabilization and it is the only region in Europe that has been left behind. The integration for this region therefore is in itself very important and significant if we want a more stable Europe. I think that the EU mustn’t forget this part of Europe. A integration in Europe would mean better living conditions and improved economy. With stabled economy Kosovo would not remain a black hole.
Kaltrina Vokshi, Pristina
First of all, European integration would mean freedom of movement, so we Kosovans could travel throughout Europe without visas. You cannot imagine how time consuming it is just to apply for a visa.
Mendu Abazi, Pristina
European integration for me means that my own clothing designs would be sold in the boutiques of Europe, which would mean recognition of the Kosovan contribution for Europe…in Europe.
Krenare Rugova, Pristina
From a business point of view, integration would mean opening borders so businesses could be conducted on the same level as the rest of Europe. For all businessmen here, it would be easier to create partnerships and we would have the ability to purchase equipment wherever we chose so we could collaborate with strategic partners.
Akan Ismaili, Pristina
Now everybody is talking about the road to Europe and European integration, but it is all empty talk since nothing concrete is being accomplished. However, European integration for me means one society where everyone’s rights are respected and all standards of a democratic society are in effect. In the current situation, when there is no freedom of movement, dreams about Europe integration seem unrealizable.
European integration for me means a free life without borders and hatred between people. Since this is non-existent here, and there is almost nothing I can do to change the situation, I think that our integration to Europe is far off.
European integration is just a modern way of having the powers of highly developed European countries dominate the underdeveloped countries of Europe.
Ranko Grkovic, Orahovac
European integration means a road to a safer and better future for people of underdeveloped and unstable regions such as Southeast Europe, namely the Balkans. It means an eradication of nationalistic and separatists’ views and other negative ideologies that burden societies. It also means an introduction of modern living and contemporary codes of conduct.
Dejan Baljosevic, Orahovac
Economically and socially, European integration would open up new road towards an improved life. Though I don’t believe in the integration of Kosovo into Europe, at least not in the near future, it is still very significant and necessary if we want a more democratic and stable Europe. European integration would provide us with a better future and more secure prospects.
Albena Zuzaku, Pristina
Focus Kosovo is published by UNMIK Division of Public Information