Research on the shared challenges faced by Serbian communities in northern Kosovo and Albanian communities in south Serbia

This report looks at the shared challenges faced by Serbian communities in northern Kosovo and Albanian communities in south Serbia, and sets out recommendations for local and central governments, the international community, as well as media and civil society.

The research was undertaken as part of the project “From Shared Challenges to Shared Solutions”, which was jointly implemented by the Centre for Democracy and Education – Lugina from Bujanovac and the NGO AKTIV from North Mitrovica, with support from PCi. The report sets out a comparative analysis on the position of Serbian communities in the four northern municipalities of Kosovo and Albanian communitites in Preševo Valley in south Serbia.

Both groups occupy a unique territorial, social, cultural, and political space in that while they are minorities in Kosovo and Serbia respectively, they constitute a majority or near-majority in the regions covered by this research. Nevertheless, they both face a specific set of barriers and challenges when it comes to their relationship with local and central governments, as well freedom of movement, youth perspectives and use of language.

The research results indicate that these two communities share very similar daily problems – unemployment, economic instability, migration, and mistrust in institutions. The research showed that non-recognition of diplomas obtained in Kosovo is the biggest problem for Albanians from the south of Serbia, while the vast majority of Serbs from Kosovo stated security as the main problem, while both communities are dissatisfied with the level of institutional response to their needs.

Taking into due consideration shared concerns and problems, the main conclusion is that it would be beneficial to establish stronger connections between the Albanian community from the south of Serbia and the Serbian community from the north of Kosovo, with the aim of establishing channels of collaboration and information exchange, as well as increasing the level of understanding between them.

The research is available to download here: