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Yearbook 2015

Kosovo. Violent protests raged in the capital Priština for several days in January against a minister calling Kosovo Albanians "barbarians" after trying to prevent Serbian pilgrims from visiting a monastery. More than 20 police officers and almost as many protesters were injured in the riots that occurred when the police deployed water cannons and tear gas. The minister, one of three Kosovo Serbs in the government, was forced to step down.

2015 Kosovo

According to COUNTRYAAH, parliament voted in August to set up an EU-backed war criminal court in the country to investigate suspicions of crimes committed by Kosovo Albanians during the 1998-99 war. The opposition loudly opposed the decision.

Steps towards normalizing relations with Serbia were taken during the EU mediation, with hopes by both parties to approach membership in the Union. In a settlement, the Kosovo Serbian minority in northern Kosovo promised promise of increased autonomy and otherwise the parties agreed on energy and telecommunications issues and on how to handle the symbolically important bridge in Mitrovica. The opposition protested against the settlement and in September prevented Prime Minister Isa Mustafa from speaking in Parliament by bombarding him with eggs. Three opposition parties also initiated a name gathering against the agreement and demanded a referendum on the settlement. Tear gas protests were carried out several times in Parliament and by the end of the year, seven members had been arrested by police.

At the end of October, a Stabilization and Association Agreement was signed with the EU. It was considered a milestone on the long road to membership of the Union, not least because five EU members still had not recognized Kosovo's independence.

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