Kosovo security council and security challenges in Kosovo

Polemic Paper, 2017

21 Pages











List of references


National security is the main responsibility of every democratic country and it doesn’t include within its concept only to provide security for citizens, but has to do also with the economic and social development of the country. Law enforcement, protection of individual freedom and human rights are as well among the key elements of county’s security. Poverty, unemployment and low quality in education also represent challenge for the security of a country.

Nowadays main challenges of security are corruption, terrorism, human trafficking, weapon smuggling, goods smuggling, organised crime, narcotics trafficking, etc. Therefore in order to prevent and combat all forms of threats towards the country, institutions should work closely, coordinate their strategies and cooperate between themselves on raising the level of national security.

Security Council of Kosovo in particular, should work closely with Ministries, Agencies, Police, institutions and citizens who can as well contribute with their feedbacks on developing a security strategy that should serve to other relevant institutions as a reference of their strategies.

The level of security in the country should be reviewed continuously from the Security Council of Kosovo and adjust to the current circumstances and situation, and should be compiled in coordination with all relevant public institutions and civil society.


Since ancient times, caring for the security of citizens was a major task for the community owner.1 While, until the middle of the twentieth century, the primary task of the state, in addition to the security from the foreign aggressors, was the expansion of the territory, but this state doctrine today is non-enforced by any state.2

The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 symbolically warned the end of the Cold War and the end of the divided Europe into military and political blocs. With the overthrow of communist powers in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, as well as their openness to the democratic system, West-East cooperation was intensified not only in the political, but also in the security sphere.3 With the creation of new states in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Russia's intervention in the Crimean Peninsula, in particular, exposes the threat posed to the states in regard to their sovereignty. In this case, besides state sovereignty, the existence of the people was endangered.4

As foreseen by strategic doctrines, the protection of sovereignty and state security are now the priorities for all states.5 In this respect, the UN and EU international organizations have also played an important role in building the best relations between the newly formed states, states where political and security instability still dominates.6

Such political and security instability characterizes the Republic of Kosovo, since the NATO intervention in 1999 in the territory of Yugoslavia. At that time, the area of defense and security in Kosovo was under the responsibility of NATO military forces (KFOR) and UNMIK police. With the establishment of UNMIK administration and the start of international administration in Kosovo, based on UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999), the structure of security institutions was also defined. Whereas, according to the Martti Ahtisaari’s Plan in 2007, at different stages was foreseen the transfer of competencies from UNMIK to the local institutions of Kosovo. In this plan, it was defined that Kosovo should be an independent state and supervised by the International Community. Kosovo, in harmony with this Plan, on February 17th 2018, declared its independence. The security architecture of the new state of Kosovo determined the establishment of new institutions and the need to reform the existing mechanisms.

In March 2008, the Republic of Kosovo immediately after its declaration of independence established the legal basis for establishing a security assessment mechanism. This mechanism has been named “Kosovo Security Council” (the acronym KSC will be used in the following text). The Kosovo Security Council (KSC) is undoubtedly one of the main pillars in the security sector in the Republic of Kosovo. The KSC is a security planning and forecasting mechanism in the Republic of Kosovo.


The establishment of the Kosovo Security Council has not been done based on the practices of other states like Albania, USA, Russia, Austria, Turkey, Ukraine, Iran, etc., which in their legislation have named this mechanism by names such as the “Council of National Security”, “National Security Council”, etc., so its name differs from the names of the security mechanisms in these states.

We consider that the reason why this security mechanism in Kosovo is not named as a National Council, similar to the above-mentioned states lies in the fact that Article 1 paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo stipulates: “The Republic of Kosovo is a state of its citizens”.7 Therefore, based on the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, Kosovo is not a national state but a state of all its citizens, where all communities are included regardless of race, ethnicity, language, religion, political opinion, national or social origin, etc.

The issue of naming the Kosovo Security Council mechanism is consistent with the opinion of some authors and other security experts.8 While in some states with federal constitutional regulation, this security mechanism is also referred to as the “Federal Security Council” in Germany,9 and “National Security Council” (NSC)10 in Japan, etc. Also, it is important to emphasize the fact that for the security of their people, different states have also established joint international security councils, the authority of which crosses state borders. In this context, it is worth mentioning the establishment of the “French-German Defense and Security Council”, which was founded in Paris in 1988 under the patronage of former German Chancellor Kohl and former French President Mitterrand.11

Among other things, an important place took the establishment of an institution that would be responsible for the security sector in the country. Unlike other countries in the region, Kosovo's basic infrastructure in the security sector was destroyed as a result of the wars of the 1990s,12 which took place the territories of the former Yugoslavia. The establishment of provisional security institutions was preceded by initiatives from the Advisory Unit for Security and Defense of Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) of UN, assisted by the Situation Center that was operating at that time. In 2004, the Office for Public Safety was established, which operated within the Office of the Prime Minister.13 Within this Office were the Secretariat and the Situation Center, which were tasked to inform the Prime Minister of Kosovo on the security situation in the country. The establishment of the Kosovo Security Council (KSC) with the supporting bodies is considered to be the result of the recommendation from the 2005 Internal Security Sector Review in Kosovo (ISSR), completed in 2006, initiated by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Soren Jessen Petersen.14

The purpose of ISSR was to examine the security sector and create a new model on the basis of which the security sector in Kosovo would be built. At that time ISSR was led by the Steering Committee, which was composed of senior UNMIK representatives, Kosovo Provisional Institutions of Self-Government, party leaders, community representatives and the Secretariat led by a Coordinator. Kosovo after its Internal Security Sector Review, on February 17th, 2008, declared its independence and in cooperation with the International Civilian Office (ICO) established the security structure for the first time in accordance with the United Nations Comprehensive Proposal for the Kosovo Status Settlement, (Ahtisaari Plan).15

The adoption of laws after the entry into force of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo enabled the establishment of a basic legal framework for the structuring of the security sector in accordance with the provisions of the Ahtisaari Plan. This framework also included the possibility of reviewing some limitations after the five-year period from its entry into force. Then, with the drafting of the law on the establishment of the KSC, this office was replaced with the KSC Secretariat as its supporting body, while the Situation Center that was operational at that time passed as a second supporting body of the Kosovo Security Council. During the course of an analysis conducted by the Institute for Advanced Studies - GAP, the following national interests were identified:16

- “Independence and territorial integrity”;
- “Conditions that enable economic stability”;
- “Consolidation of a democratic state”;
- “Security and stability of the region”.


The establishment of the Kosovo Security Council is regulated by the Law on the Kosovo Security Council, which was approved in full accordance with Chapter XI of the Security Sector, of the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, respectively Article 127, with a view to establishing a Kosovo Security Council by the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo on March 13th 2008, which entered into force 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Kosovo.17

Also, with this law are defined the duties and powers of the Kosovo Security Council. Article 1 and 2 of this law define the mission and competencies of the KSC, i.e. advisory coordination, recommendations, discussions and evaluations, guaranteeing the fact that this mechanism:

- to have an advisory role in all matters related to Kosovo's security and regional stability;
- to recommend security policies and strategies, as well as
- to provide information and assessments of the security situation in Kosovo.


In principle, the role and function of Security Councils in all countries is approximately the same, which is also confirmed by Mirsad D. Abazovic,18 who estimates that national security policies, in general, should take into account: the existence of the state; national existence; physical self-preservation; territorial integrity; political independence (independence and sovereignty) and the life quality of citizens. Although, in principle the role and function of these security mechanisms have similarities, nonetheless there are some differences between them. While the Federal Security Council of Germany is responsible for political security consultations, including defense and disarmament areas, as well as the export of weapons, Kosovo Security Council does not have such possibility. The Federal Security Council of Germany advises the state government on security policy issues, in particular in all areas of defense and disarmament and arms control. Article 1, paragraph 2 of the German Federal Security Council Regulation19 speaks extensively of the arms export policy.

While, depending on who leads the Security Council's Office, there are some differences between the states depending on their governance system. In most presidential states, such as the United States, France, Albania, Serbia, etc., in principle the President of the state leads the institution of security. While in countries with a parliamentary governing system, the Security Council may be led by the President of the State or by the Prime Minister, which is a practice most commonly encountered in parliamentary governing systems, such as Austria and Germany, where the Prime Minister (Bundeskanzler) leads the Security Council.

In the Republic of Austria this is regulated by the Federal Law on the Establishment of the National Security Council,20 whereas in the Federal Republic of Germany this is regulated by the Federal Security Council Regulation of January 27th, 1959, amended and supplemented on June 4th, 2014.21 In countries with a parliamentary governing system there is a possibility that the Security Council be run by another minister such as the Minister of Defense, etc.

In the Republic of Kosovo, respectively with Law no. 03/L-050,22 Article 4, paragraph 4.1, on the Establishment of the Kosovo Security Council, determines that the Kosovo Security Council works under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, who also chairs the meetings. He chairs the Council, but enjoys support from the KSC Secretariat in accordance with article 16 of this law, as well as from the Situation Center.23 According to the same law,24 specifically Article 14, paragraph 14.1, stipulates that on the occasion of the declaration of the state of emergency, the President of the Republic of Kosovo chairs the Kosovo Security Council.

Also, with this law is defined the composition of the KSC. Thus, according to Article 3, paragraph 3.1, the Kosovo Security Council consists of permanent members with executive authority, as follows: the Prime Minister; the Deputy Prime Minister(s); the Minister for the Kosovo Security Force, or in his or her absence, the Deputy

Minister; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or in his or her absence, the Deputy Minister; the Minister of Internal Affairs, or in his or her absence, the Deputy Minister; the Minister of Justice, or in his or her absence, the Deputy Minister; the Minister of Economy and Finance, or in his or her absence, the Deputy Minister; and the Minister of Returns and Communities, or in his or her absence, the Deputy Minister.

Whereas Article 3, paragraph 3.2 provides that if none of the Kosovo Security Council’s permanent members with executive authority belongs to the Kosovo Serb Community, the Prime Minister shall appoint one additional member among the Kosovo Serb Ministers as an additional member of the Kosovo Security Council with executive authority. As far as the issue of permanent executive members is concerned, Article 3, paragraph 3.3 foresees that additional non-permanent Ministerial executive members may be appointed by the Chairman of the Kosovo Security Council on an ad hoc basis. However, Kosovo Security Council as permanent members shall also include the following members in an advisory capacity: a representative of the President of the Republic of Kosovo; the Director of the Kosovo Intelligence Agency; the Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister; the Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, General Director of the Kosovo Police; the Commander of the Kosovo Security Force; the Secretary of the Kosovo Security Council; the Director of the Department of Emergency Management of the Ministry for Internal Affairs; and Director of the Customs of Republic of Kosovo.


1 Detjen, Joachim, Die Werteordnung des Grundgesetzes , Wiesbaden 2009, p. 96.

2 Sack, Jörn, Friedrich der Grosse und Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Eine verfehlte Beziehung und die Folgen. Zugleich ein Essay über den vernünftigen und den künftigen Staat, Berlin 2011, p. 140.

3 Ernst-Otto Czempiel, Neue Sicherheit in Europa: eine Kritik an Neorealismus und Realpolitik, Frankfurt/NewYork, p.45.

4 Reka, Blerim / Bashota, Bardhok / Ylber Sela, International relations, Shkup 2016, p. 393.

5 Security strategy of Republic of Kosovo, 2010, p. 3.

6 Abazoviq, Mirsad. D., National Security, Prishtinë 2006, p. 28.

7 Constitution of Republic of Kosovo, which entered into force on June 15th, 2008.

8 See: Assessment of the importance of the Kosovo Security Council in the security sector, Pristina, December 2008, published by: Kosovar Center for Security Studies.

9 https://www.bmvg.de/de/bundessicherheitsrat-bsr--14556

10 https://www.mofa.go.jp/fp/nsp/page1we_000080.html

11 https://www.france-allemagne.fr/Deutsch-Franzosischer,0582.html

12 Bernabéu, Irene. (2007, March) “Laying the Foundations of Democracy? Reconsidering Security Sector Reform under UN Auspices in Kosovo”, in: Security Dialogue, 38 no 1, 71-92.

13 Office for public safety was established on June 30th 2004 with administrative instruction 2004/16: http://www.unmikonline.org/regulations/admdirect/2004/ade2004_16.pdf

14 Internal security sector review, p. 136 http://www.kosovo.undp.org/repository/docs/ISSR_report_eng_ver2.pdf

15 John, DeROSA, Strategic defence review of Republic of Kosovo, p. 4, see: http://www.institutigap.org/documents/67504_SDR_shqip.pdf

16 Ibid, p.5

17 Law no. 03/L-050 on the Establishment of the Kosovo Security Council. Official Gazette of the Republic of Kosovo/Pristina: year III/No. 26/02 June 2008.

18 Abazoviq, Mirsad D., National security, Pristina 2006, p. 21.

19 Geschäftsordnung des Bundessicherheitsrates vom 27. Januar 1959 in der Fassung vom 12. August 2015. Drucksache 342/15. This Regulation of the Federal Security Council of Germany was amended and supplemented in June 2014 aiming for the inter-party and political entity's influence to improve transparency in the field of arms export policy by the decision of the Bundestag of Germany of May 8th 2014.

20 https://www.ris.bka.gv.at/GeltendeFassung.wxe?Abfrage=Bundesnormen&Gesetzesnummer=20001603 [11.07.2018]. Bundesgesetz über die Errichtung eines Nationalen Sicherheitsrates, StF: BGBl. I Nr. 122/2001 (NR: GP XXI IA505/A AB809 S. 80. BR: AB6470 S. 681.) (Article 3.(1), 1.)

21 The Federal Government of Germany in the meeting of August 12th, 2015 has issued new regulations on the activity of Federal Security Council (Drucksache 18/1626).

22 Law no. 03/L-050 on the Establishment of the Kosovo Security Council, 2008.

23 The Situation Center was established in 2005, which was mandated to inform the Prime Minister about the security situation in Kosovo.

24 Law no. 03/L-050 on the Establishment of the Kosovo Security Council, 2008.

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Kosovo security council and security challenges in Kosovo
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Islam Qerimi (Author)Blerim Krasniqi (Author), 2017, Kosovo security council and security challenges in Kosovo, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/496844


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