The Republic of Kosovo’s foreign policy priorities include obtaining international recognition, gaining membership in international organizations, and making progress on its goal of full Euro-Atlantic integration through the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008, was recognized by Canada on March 18, 2008 and has since established full diplomatic relations. In Kosovo, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Croatia. Kosovo is currently represented in Canada by its Embassy in Washington D.C. Kosovo’s first Ambassador to Canada was accredited in the fall of 2012, which marked Kosovo’s full diplomatic representation in Canada.
Bilateral relations between Canada and Kosovo are good, and show potential for continued development as the relationship between the two countries develops and grows. Canada is satisfied that Kosovo has committed itself to the protection of the rights of minorities, including their cultural and religious heritage, and notes that the country’s constitution reflects these commitments. The development of Kosovo into a democratic, multi-ethnic state that fully respects human rights is essential for peace, political stability and economic progress in the Balkans.
Starting in 1992, through the former Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Canada provided $135 million in development assistance to Kosovo.
Kosovar Foreign Affairs Minister Enver Hoxhaj visited Ottawa in July 2013 and met with Foreign Minister John Baird and Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular) Lynne Yelich.
Kosovo’s economy is developing and is showing progress in its transition to a stable and market-based system. The World Bank Group’s report Doing Business recognized Kosovo’s reform efforts in improving its business environment. In the 2014 report, Kosovo is ranked 75th out of 189 countries surveyed, compared to 86th in the 2013 report, and 96th from the year prior.