An Assessment of the new VAT Policy in Kosovo: its potential impact on consumers and businesses

Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) released a Policy Analysis entitled: ‘Assessment of the VAT Changes: Potential Impact on Consumers and Businesses’.  Similar to most of the Balkan countries, Kosovo has been, and still is, undergoing socio-economic and political transformation. Characterized by the lowest GDP per capita in Europe, Kosovo’s main challenge remains the lack of economic development. In addition its challenges are illustrated by a very large informal economy. However, given that Kosovo has no monetary policy, fiscal policy is the only economic instrument used by policymakers to influence Government revenues in order to have an impact in the economy. According to the Policy Analysis these fiscal reforms will not necessarily have a positive impact for Kosovo citizens, on contrary there is a higher risk that they will have a negative impact by increasing the cost of living for citizens.  The report concludes arguing that there ‘…are no clear outputs for the announced fiscal reforms outlined by the Ministry of Finance by any economic analysis or statistics on how such changes would impact the overall economy – low income households and businesses. This gives us the impression that these changes are part of a populist agenda rather than thoughtful changes for the benefit of the population at large’. This is the first time after the independence of the Republic of Kosovo that the Law is being changed completely.To access the policy report, please click here.

Voter Abstention in Kosovo – Empirical Evidence on the Micro-Level

This Policy Report greatly contributes to understanding micro-level patterns of voting behavior in Kosovo. So far, there is no study that examines why many Kosovar citizens choose to abstain from voting in elections. Considering the extremely low voter turnout in the last two national elections, the empirical insights resulting from our study gain special importance. The report also highlights the fact that higher education fosters political participation and voter turnout. This result emphasizes the need to improve the political integration of all socio-economic groups and communities and, thereby, strengthen political awareness and feelings of political efficacy. To access the policy report, please click here.

Visa Liberalisation and the Way Forward: Suggestions for a Strategic Approach to the Political Dialogue with Brussels

Group for Legal and Political Studies conducted a Policy Analysis entitled ‘Visa Liberalisation and the Way Forward: Suggestions for a Strategic Approach to the Political Dialogue with Brussels’, which examines the particularities Kosovo’s visa liberalisation process and subsequent issues. It also presents recommendations for the government on the way forward and how to effectively implement a strategy that would assist in reaching the goal of visa liberalisation. To access the Analysis, please click here.

Potential Migrant’s Profile: Who are the Kosovars most willing to Migrate?

GLPS has conducted a representative survey of population with 1000 persons, at the end of March 2015, in order to estimate and then examine the perception trends with regard to this phenomenon. Using the data deriving from the survey, GLPS built the ‘potential migrant’s profile’ and empirically analyses the factors that influence the willingness of citizens to migrate in the context of the factors that participate in the said profile.

The Potential Migrant’s Profile is being conducted for the first time in Kosovo and is an indicator of the structure of factors which trigger the willingness to migrate, something that policymakers and the Mustafa Government should carefully consider in their policy response to the migration trend. The data suggests that willingness to migrate remains very high despite migration of a relatively high number of individuals over the last past months, as well as continuous declarations of EU officials that asylum applications of Kosovo citizens will not be accepted. More precisely, 37.2% of individuals surveyed are willing to migrate should they have an opportunity to do so. The Policy Analysis offers a set of tangible, policy-oriented recommendations for the Kosovo Government to mitigate the factors that are causing this trend of migration of citizens toward the EU countries.To access the Policy Analysis, please click here.

What are the risks for the Republic of Kosovo if the Parliament fails to Establish the ‘Special Court’?

This Opinion analyzes the potential consequences should Kosovo refuse to establish a specialized chambers and special prosecution to address the allegations that are the subject of the potential Special Investigative Task Force indictments. In this discussion, we will refer to this mechanism by using the more general term, “special court.” Our organization does not seek to lobby for the passage of the draft law on the special court or to make any opinion regarding the fairness to the Kosovo people in creating this court. There is no solution for Kosovo but to establish, or refuse to establish the court and we recognize that Kosovo has the ability to determine its own course of action in this matter. Read the Opinion by clicking here.