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11 Dec 12

On Passports and Great Albania

Artan Mustafa

When Albania declared independence a century ago, the goal of unifying Albanians in a single state was paramount.

But these days, it isn’t so desirable, especially from Kosovo’s perspective. Despite Albania Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s idea to give every ethnic Albanian a passport, in essence there are no strong political groups working toward unification.

The problem is, that it’s difficult to transform public stances such is the one coming from Berisha, into political action.

But, proponents of the unification project must seriously take into account the feelings and the reasonings of all those supporting and believing in an independent Kosovo, according to its February 17, 2008 declaration of independence.

Supporters of the Kosovo state are not few and they support Kosovo both as an ideal and as a pragmatic organization, parallel to taking into consideration the powerful integration impetus towards Europe.

Proponents of the unification of Albanians into one state, wherever they appear, often have a lack of courage to risk their current society position, afraid of public opinion.

In addition, with Kosovo in talks with Serbia, the unification calls are detrimental and an invitation for territorial arguments, such as Belgrade’s proposal for a possible Dayton-style solution, a partition.

They are discouraging for the coexistence of different ethnicities in one space, in this region, even though that coexistence is a fact in the developed world, and it was successful in the past in the Balkans as well, until Slobodan Milosevic came into play.

They are a manipulation of the fate of future Kosovars as, particularly at this point of economic underdevelopment, living in this small country helps people to get out of poverty and anonymity more quickly.

Everyone has a better chance of being employed in a municipality, agency, ministry, embassy or to be part of Kosovo’s film or literary scenes.It is certain that in other organizations, at least for a while, their opportunities will be more limited.

So it is a job and experience opportunity.

And, on the contrary, the state of Kosovo doesn’t prevent economic and cultural integration among Albanians.

It is also not rational to be attracted by such projects when no one’s existence is threatened from an ideology - as it did during Milosevic era.

One should also remember that there are other ethnicities which are an integral part of our society and share the history and many viewpoints with the majority. Kosovo is their homeland as well, but maybe that could not be the case with an-all Albanian state.

Instead, the project that Albanians and others in Kosovo should be supporting is one that supports the development of everyone. An experienced, educated and prosperous citizen - this is the passport that was missing in the past.

Often this exactly is the ultimate objective of political systems. For these reasons, reflections on November 28, for many, served as a reminder of the vital importance that the maintaining of the state of Kosovo and implementing its Declaration of Independence has for Kosovars.

Grand ethnic projects belong to the past.

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