Almost 100% of respondents in Northern Kosovo say they do not accept the Kosovo authorities. This is the result of the self-imposed, unofficial and non-binding referendum that took place in February this year.
However, the case of Northern Kosovo is not likely to be any different than past referenda on national allegiance and sovereign borders, claims ECMI’s Director Dr. Tove H. Malloy. And this means, it will fail. In the ECMI Issue Brief #27, she analyses preconditions for successful settlements after referenda.
“While no case is similar,” writes Malloy, one relatively clear conclusion is:
“A referendum is not respected unless it holds international backing, even if it is considered a domestic matter.”
Naturally, more ingredients are needed.
Instructively, the case of Schleswig is recalled. The referendum in 1920 in the small disputed piece of land linking Germany and Denmark is usually referred to as successful. Dr. Malloy examines how the referendum was ‘made’ in Self-determination and national minorities: the difficulties of ‘making’ a referendum in Schleswig-Holstein and why to think twice in Kosovo, by Tove H. Malloy.