The Open Society Foundation of Albania (OSFA) and Kosovo (KFOS) have published the results of a research on different topics concerning the two countries.
The Open Society Foundation is a network of international foundations founded by tycoon George Soros who financially support civil society groups around the world with the aim of promoting education, justice, public health and independent media.
Among the topics touched by the research: social distance, European integration, regional collaboration, mutual perception and stereotypes, the aptitude for cooperation between the two countries and the aptitude for a possible national unification.
Following the independence of Kosovo and the construction of the "Rruga e Kombit" road section, visits between citizens of the two countries have increased exponentially, in particular for Kosovo Albanians who visit Albania. According to the study conducted by the two foundations, 88,7% of the citizens of Kosovo visited Albania while only 31,6% of the citizens of Albania visited Kosovo.
Kosovo citizens also believe they know the country of Eagles better than Albanians in Albania know Kosovo. This trend also applies to citizens of Albania, who believe they know Kosovo better than Kosovo citizens know about Albania.
Asked if the citizens of the two countries "were willing to pay a tax that allows for national unification", 43,5% of Kosovo Albanians and 29,5% of Albanians expressed themselves in favor. Higher values, however, as regards the vote on a possible referendum for the unification of the two countries: 74,8% of Albanians would vote in favor (17,7% against) as well as 63,9% of the citizens of the Kosovo (16,7% against).
"There are different reasons for those who are opposed to the unification of the two countries. The most frequent reason has to do with the fact that as two independent countries, Albania and Kosovo work better. Another considerable part of those who oppose unification believe that the Albanians of Albania and Kosovo have different traditions and cultures. "- reads the report.
On the contrary, for Albanian citizens in favor of unification between the two countries, the international community is seen as the main factor for the unification of the two countries even though it is however considered a main element also by those who believe that a national unification. For Kosovo Albanians, however, leadership in the two countries is the key factor that could allow unification.
Secondly, the Albanians of Albania and Kosovo see Serbia and all the states of the Balkan region in general as an obstacle to the unification of the two countries respectively. Kosovo citizens are more optimistic about timing (within 5 years) than Albania (10 years).
"Kosovo Albanians believe that unification can happen within the next five years, while Albanians from Albania believe that the process takes longer. ”- reads the report.
Quality of life
Most of the citizens interviewed believe that the health system is better in Albania than in Kosovo, as well as for the school system. Furthermore, Albania is considered a country with a greater tourist potential than Kosovo.
Opposite result as regards the quality of life and the concept of sport in the two countries, both better - for most of the interviewees - in Kosovo. Contrasting results, however, on the development of culture and women's law in the two countries: the interviewees, in fact, believe they have a better position in their country.