Central and Eastern Europe, Diplomacy, International Journalism and PR

Celebration of the 15th anniversary of the independence of Kosovo

From right to left: Ms Shqipe Hajredini, the Ambassador of Kosovo to the Netherlands H.E. Mr. Dren Doli and Beata Bruggeman-Sekowska

By Beata Bruggeman-Sekowska

On 17 February the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Kosovo took place in the Concordia Theater in the Hague, the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The guests were welcomed by The Ambassador of Kosovo to the Netherlands H.E. Mr. Dren Doli and his wife Ms Shqipe Hajredini.

The Ambassador of Kosovo to the Netherlands H.E. Mr. Dren Doli and his wife Ms Shqipe Hajredini. ©Communications-unlimited.nl

At the beginning of the celebrations the Dutch translation of the book ‘’Glimmer of Hope, Glimmer of Flame’’-‘’Een sprankje hoop, een lont’’ by a famous author Ag Apolloni was launched. Guests received a copy of the book and had a chance to have it signed by the author.

From left Ag Apolloni, Beata Bruggeman-Sekowska and Aloys Bruggeman ©Communications-unlimited.nl

Ag Apolloni (born 13 June 1982) is a professor at the University of Prishtina and an Albanian writer, poet, playwright and essayist. His literary works are characterized by philosophical, dramatic and critical dimension.

 ”Glimmer of Hope, Glimmer of Flame” (2020) is a documentary novel about the real tragedy of two Kosovo Albanian mothers from Gjakova after the war of 1999. One of them lost her whole family – her husband and four sons and she keeps waiting for them more than twenty years later. The other mother burned herself to death after the remains of two of her sons were returned to her. The novel resonates eternal truths of ancient Greek tragedy, probes the depths and meaning of the concepts of motherhood, home and family presenting the human tragedy stemming from the war.

H.E. Mr. Dren Doli in his speech related to the book saying that he also comes from Gjakova, a few blocks away from where the protagonists live and that every time he walks by their homes he thinks that it could have been him. Kosovo celebrating its 15th anniversary remembers also its past, its stories and looks forward and builds future, continued Mr. Dren Doli.

©Embassy of Kosovo in the Hague

He related also from this perspective to the unjustified war against Ukraine and the need to act against it. In his speech he also pointed out that Kosovo in 2022 despite lockdowns and difficult economic times related to Covid-19 managed to reach 4 % growth. Mr Ambassador continued that Netherlands is an important partner of Kosovo. Manifesta, with the headquartes in Amsterdam, a European Nomadic Biennial, a  traveling platform focusing on the dialogue between art and society in Europe is taking place in Prishtina.

H.E. Mr. Dren Doli ©Communications-unlimited.nl

Mr. Ambassador also stressed the importance of Kosovo Diaspora in the Netherlands which is a bridge between Kosovo and the Netherlands.

After the speech an impressive music performance by a Trio Band from Kosovo took place.

Trio Band ©Communications-unlimited.nl

Historic background

Kosovo has gone through so much and achieved so much in the past 15 years.

Independence of Kosovo came at a huge cost: a systematic campaign of terror, including murders, rapes, arsons and severe maltreatments. The Kosovo War led to 13,500 deaths or people missing, displacement of between 1.2 million to 1.45 people.

Kosovo declaration of independence was adopted on 17 February 2008 by the Assembly of Kosovo. In a meeting attended by 109 of the total 120 members, the assembly unanimously declared Kosovo to be independent from Serbia. All 11 representatives of the Serb minority boycotted the proceedings.

Among the G20 countries, eleven (including all seven G7 countries) have recognised Kosovo as an independent state: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Kosovo has been recognised by 117 countries including major European Union countries. Serbia which is backed up  by Russia, refuses to recognise it. Although Serbia does not recognise Kosovo as an independent country, in accordance with the Brussels Agreement (19 April 2013) has to begin normalise relations with Kosovo. Kosovo is not yet member of the United Nations, EU and NATO.

Since becoming an independent country it has become a member of the international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund IMF (since 29 June 2009 ), World Bank (since 29 June 2009 ), World Customs Organization (since 3 March 2017), The International Road Transport Union (IRU) (since May 2009), The International Bar Association (IBA)  (since 28 May 2009), International Olympic Committee IOC (since 9 December 2014), Union of European Football Associations UEFA (since 2016), The Fédération Internationale de Football Association FIFA (since 13th of May 2016), and many other international sports organisations including The International Orienteering Federation (IOF). Kosovo has also signed the first Stabilisation and Association Agreement with EU.(read more here: Kosovo-EU_SAA_Final_2 (1)  
or here: http://www.kryeministri-ks.net/repository/docs/Kosovo-EU_SAA_Final_2.pdf)

In June 2014, Kosovo became a member state of the Venice Commission, an advisory body of the Council of Europe.

Author: Beata Bruggeman-Sękowska is an award-winning international journalist, TV correspondent, author, chief editor of international journalism centre, Central and Eastern Europe Centre, president of the European Institute on Communist Oppression and a sworn translator. She was born in Warsaw, Poland and has also Armenian blood and roots in Lvov, which is part of Ukraine. She has been living in Heerlen, the Netherlands since 2005.

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