The project aims to support Kosovo-Serbia rapprochement by helping Kosovar and Serb leaders at all levels understand one another’s views, goals and interests, and how their policies affect the lives of people on the ground. We aim to foster the integration of the Serb community, using our unique and extensive network of contacts in northern Kosovo. We aim to help consolidate Kosovo state institutions and the rule of law.
Our second goal is to pass on the legacy of Crisis Group’s fifteen years of work in Kosovo by building the capacity of national civil society organisations. Like Crisis Group, Balkans Group employs researchers and analysts of all ethnicities equally and will build a fully mixed team of highly qualified and trained researchers and policy analysts. Balkans Group is the only local think tank with Albanians and Serbs working together closely, doing joint research, drafting reports and engaging in advocacy. Working with the Balkans Group will give Albanian researchers experience with the Serb community of northern Kosovo and Serb analysts’ experience with the Pristina government. All staff will receive training in research, analysis, drafting and advocacy skills to a high international standard.
Our ambition is to establish the leading multi-ethnic think tank of Kosovo. After working with the Balkans Group, former staff will be well suited to take positions in civil society and government, passing on the skills and standards they have acquired. Our network of relations across the ethnic divide will be an invaluable asset for Balkans Group alumni. The goal is to establish a group of Albanian and Serb researchers and analysts under Balkans Policy Research Group, whose thoughts and ideas influence policy makers and international actors, and dedicated to building a strong, stable and prosperous society in Kosovo and the western Balkans.