How ‘friendly’ is Kosovo for Foreign Direct Investments: A Policy Review of Gaps from a Regional Market Perspective

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is widely recognized for its positive impacts on economic growth and transformation. It is also considered an important channel for the development and accumulation of human capital and the diffusion of new ideas and business skills across national borders. Foreign investment inflows can positively influence employment and may represent an important source of technological advancement in the host country. Global trends show that competition for attracting FDI is especially strong among developing countries, as it represents an important source of foreign capital and can have positive spillover effects on the host economy. This policy paper is organized as following: Section 2 provides a brief theoretical discussion of the main factors that affect investors’ decisions and potential Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) effects on the host-country, followed by a discussion of the importance of FDI for Kosovo and the current legislative framework. Section 3 highlights Kosovo’s FDI profile in general and by sector, as well as its position compared to other SEE countries. Section 4 discusses Kosovo’s potential for attracting investments and its investment climate and scrutinizes the key deterrents for FDI in Kosovo. Section 5 examines the main types of investment incentives and compares Kosovo’s incentive schemes with SEE countries. Section 6 considers the perceptions of EU and EFTA foreign investors operating in Kosovo. The last section offers a set of policy recommendations and solutions that would further enhance Kosovo’s investment climate and its overall performance with regard to attracting FDI. To access the report, please click here.

Third Informational Conference on the Stabilization and Association Agreement held in Peja

On 23 February 2017, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) and Prishtina Institute for Political Studies (PIPS) organized the third informational conference on the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) in the Municipality of Peja. Gathering more than 20 participants from Peja region, municipal officials and civil society had the chance to discuss the objectives, benefits and obligations deriving from this Agreement, with a special focus on the obligations, policy planning, monitoring and reporting on the municipal level. In addition, participants agreed that the SAA is of utmost importance for Kosovo and its citizens contributing to the path towards the European Integration.  This is the third informational conference held under the framework of project entitled “Promoting the Stabilization Association Agreement and launching a public-discourse for Kosovo’s European Future”, financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kosovo.

Panelists:

  1. Ms. Leonora Kryeziu – Executive Director, PIPS;
  2. Mr. Gazmend Muhaxheri – Mayor of Peja Municipality;
  3. Ms. Venera Ramaj – Rule of Law Advisor, the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Kosovo;
  4. Ms. Katerina Lopo – Policy Officer, EU Office in Kosovo/ EU Special Representative;
  5. Ms. Albana Merja – Research Fellow, Group for Legal and Political Studies;
  6. Mr. Ilir Mucaj – Head of Division, Environment, Energy and Transport, Ministry of European Integration.

Venue: Hotel Dukagjini, Peja, Kosovo.

GLPS’ contribution to the Transparency of Party Funding in Kosovo

Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) for the past two years has addressed the lack of transparency and auditing of the finances of political parties. To that aim, GLPS through continuous inputs, reports and direct discussions with main stakeholders, including the European Union Office in Kosovo, made possible to include the auditing and transparency of party finances on the European Reform Agenda (ERA). Given that Kosovo has recently signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union, ERA remains one of the most crucial tools towards the implementation of reforms necessary to strengthen the democratic governance, economy and rule of law. ERA’s Action Plan, approved in November 2016, includes specific ‘indicators’ for each priority as well as timelines and responsible institutions to implement them. GLPS’s main contribution within the ERA’s good governance and rule of law priority contains specifically:

  1. the implementation of the independent audit process of party funding for 2013-2016;
  2. ensuring the publication of financial reports of political parties;
  3. providing an adequate funding for the procurement of audit services for the financial reports of political parties;
  4. amending the Law on Financing of Political Parties to ensure transparency, accountability and effective enforcement and sanctions, based on extensive public consultation.

Due to both, the Group for Legal and Political Studies contribution expressed through ERA and, most importantly, the direct engagement of the EU Office in Kosovo, last week political parties in Kosovo have started the publication of financial report. Though we consider this a major step towards the transparency of party funding, under the continuous support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), GLPS will continue to push forward and advocate for a regular auditing of the electoral and annual financial statements of political parties in Kosovo, in order to further strengthen the accountability and rule of law.

To better inform the opinion on the process of political parties funding and transparency, GLPS has recently produced a short informational video under the project entitled ‘Continuing Monitoring and Implementation on the Law on Financing of Political Parties’, funded by NED. The video can be found here.

Second informational conference on the Stabilization and Association Agreement

On 31 January 2017, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) and Prishtina Institute for Political Studies (PIPS) organized an informational conference on the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) in the Municipality of Prizren. The aim of this event was to inform the participants and municipal officials on the importance of the SAA and the need for a constructive cooperation among central and local level towards successfully achieving its objectives.  Gathering more than 20 participants from Prizren region, municipal officials and civil society had the chance to discuss the objectives, benefits and obligations deriving from this Agreement, with a special focus on the obligations, policy planning, monitoring and reporting on the municipal level. In addition, participants agreed that the SAA is of utmost importance for Kosovo and its citizens contributing to the path towards the European Integration. Therefore, both GLPS and PIPS found it crucial to help build capacities and general knowledge about the SAA, with a special focus on the municipal level. This conference was implemented in the framework of project entitled “Promoting the Stabilization Association Agreement and launching a public-discourse for Kosovo’s European Future”, financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kosovo.

Venue: Hotel Theranda, Prizren, Kosovo.

Seminar for the Civil Society Organisations in Kosovo on SIGMA Principles of Public Administration

On 26 January 2017, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) has organized one-day seminar for the Civil Society Organizations in Kosovo on the SIGMA Principles of Public Administration. This Seminar was co-organized with SIGMA/OECD and the aim was to familiarize the civil society in Kosovo with SIGMA Principles of Public Administration, both in local and central level. Gathering more than 30 CSOs throughout Kosovo, this event served as an opportunity to thoroughly discuss each of the Principles defined by the European Commission, indicators and sub-indicators, as well as their relevance to the local level. Furthermore, CSOs had the chance to receive first-hand information with regards to SIGMA’s approach towards Public Administration Reform (PAR) process from the SIGMA Representative and Coordinator for Kosovo, Mr. Jesper Johnson, who was engaged as a lecturer during this seminar. During the morning sessions, the participants discussed about the areas of PAR Strategic Framework and Policy Development and Coordination, while in the afternoon sessions the discussion focused on the remaining Chapters of Public Service and Human Resource Management, Accountability, Service Delivery and Public Finance Management. Each session was followed by an interactive discussion on several principles relevant to local level. Apart from the Principles, participants focused on the overall process of Public Administration Reform in Kosovo, challenges, latest SIGMA Assessment Report for Kosovo and civil society’s role towards the monitoring of PAR. Several multi-media videos were presented in the beginning of each session, briefly explaining each of the Chapters. This Seminar was organized under the project entitled “WeBER – Western Balkans Enabling Project for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform”, financed by the European Union, and co-financed by the Royal Netherlands Government.

Venue: Hotel Emerald, Prishtina, Kosovo.

Small Grant Facility – Support for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform

WeBER – Western Balkans Enabling Project for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform Project is seeking proposals for the implementation of the Small Grant Facility for Support for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform at local level. The Call for proposals is in the total amount of 255.000 EUR intended to support 30 grants in the range between 5000 and 10000 EUR (8500 EUR on average). Out of the 30 grants, up to 6 are envisioned in Serbia, up to 6 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, up to 5 in Albania, up to 5 in Macedonia, up to 4 in Kosovo, and up to 4 in Montenegro. The duration of the project proposal under this Call for proposals is between 6 and 12 months. WeBER is financed by the EU and co-financed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The complete Call for applicants and all relevant documents are available for download here.

Information Session for Kosovo will be held on 20 February 2017, starting from 10:00 at the Group for Legal and Political Studies office (Str. Rexhep Luci, 16/1, 10000 Prishtina Kosovo).

Deadline for submission of Applications: 17 March 2017