Official discrepancies: Kosovo independence and Western European Rhetoric

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This article examines approaches and official discrepancies characterizing Western European rhetoric with regard to the Kosovo status question. Since the early 1980s, Kosovo has been increasingly present in European debates, culminating with the 1999 international intervention in the region and subsequent talks about its final status. Although the Kosovo Albanians proclaimed independence in February 2008 and the majority of the EU member-states decided to recognize Kosovo as an independent state, Western European rhetoric has been rather divided. This article shows that in addition to the five EU members who decided not to recognize Kosovo from the very beginning, and thus are powerful enough to affect its further progress both locally and internationally, some of the recognizers, although they have abandoned the policy of ‘standards before status’, have also struggled to develop full support for the province – a discrepancy that surely questions the overall Western support for Kosovo’s independence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-444
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Politics and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • European Union
  • Kosovo Albanians
  • Kosovo independence
  • Serbs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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