More information about Kosovo is available on the Kosovo Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
Since Kosovo’s independence in 2008, the United States and over 100 UN-member countries have recognized Kosovo as an independent, sovereign state. The United States continues to support a multiethnic, democratic Kosovo, fully integrated into the international community. This remains a key pillar of U.S. efforts to stabilize the Balkan region and ensure a Europe that is strong and free. U.S. priorities in Kosovo are focused on regional stability, including the normalization of Kosovo’s relations with Serbia, strengthening the rule of law, and fostering economic growth.
European Union (EU)-facilitated Dialogue talks, launched in 2010 with U.S. backing, established a new process for fostering reconciliation between Kosovo and Serbia. In 2019, the President appointed a Special Envoy for Kosovo-Serbia Peace Negotiations and the Secretary of State appointed a Special Representative for the Western Balkans. Their focus is to encourage Kosovo and Serbia to accelerate efforts to reach a normalization agreement, centered on mutual recognition, which would benefit all citizens of Kosovo and Serbia. Normalizing Kosovo-Serbia relations would strengthen regional stability and enable both countries to realize their full potential and further integrate into the West.
In 2016, Kosovo entered into a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, the first step toward EU membership. Compliance with the SAA enhances trade between the EU and Kosovo, obligates Kosovo to align its legislation with EU standards, and furthers the ongoing political dialogue between the EU and Kosovo. The United States continues to support Kosovo’s full Euro-Atlantic integration.
U.S. Assistance to Kosovo
U.S. Government assistance aims to help Kosovo become a stable, democratic, and economically viable country within Europe, offering equal opportunity and protections to all its citizens. U.S. Department of State and USAID foreign assistance prioritize the full implementation of international agreements to normalize Kosovo-Serbia relations and works to build transparent and responsive government institutions. The United States is partnering with the Kosovo government to implement a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Threshold Program to support accountable governance and a reliable energy landscape in Kosovo. The government of Kosovo and MCC are also jointly developing a new Compact program, expected come up for approval in 2020.
U.S. troops continue to participate in the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all of Kosovo’s citizens. The United States is the largest KFOR contributor of the 27 troop contributing nations.
The Iowa National Guard-led bilateral state partnership program, launched in 2011, has the long-term goal of building and expanding partnerships with the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), which will help Kosovo promote regional security and cooperation, and contribute to the U.S. goal of a Europe strong and free. Kosovo is the only country that maintains a consulate in Des Moines, Iowa. The Kosovo-Iowa partnership is broadening and deepening, representing a best practice in the State Partnership program.
We value Kosovo’s efforts in countering violent extremism (CVE) in the region and applaud its efforts to reduce the threat of foreign terrorist fighters and other radicalized individuals in Kosovo through engagement with local communities, counter-messaging, and active contributions to the Defeat-ISIS coalition.
Bilateral Economic Relations
U.S. investors in Kosovo are involved with projects in the construction, energy, health, information technology, and real estate development sectors. Kosovo is a beneficiary country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which promotes economic development by eliminating duties on approximately 3,500 products imported from Kosovo.
There are over 16 companies registered in Kosovo that have direct U.S. ties. Among the most active are Bechtel, Hill International, Coca Cola, General Electric, KFC, ContourGlobal, Marriott, Cisco, Famous Famiglia, Burger King, Domino’s, and Microsoft. There are also other U.S. goods being sold in Kosovo through distributors as well as local UPS and FedEx offices.
Kosovo’s Membership in International Organizations
Kosovo is a member of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Council of Europe’s Development Bank and Venice Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Apostille Convention, the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, the World Customs Organization, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Federation of Association Football. Kosovo has a number of diplomatic missions and consular posts worldwide.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
More information about Kosovo is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: