Democratic Governance and Human Rights

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    Pride Festival in Kosovo 2017 Photo: Jenny Åkeson

Increased efficiency and transparency are vital elements of a democratic and well-functioning public administration. Support in this area is channelled through Kosovo´s institutions to strengthen increased sustainability and ownership. Sweden therefore cooperates directly with the Office of Prime Minister (OPM) and Agency for Gender Equality (AGE).

Collaboration also takes place with Swedish authorities, such as the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) and Statistics Sweden (SCB). The cooperation between Statistics Sweden and the Kosovo Agency for Statistics (KAS), as well as the Swedish Tax Agency and the Kosovo Property Tax Department aims to increase transparency, communication and the country´s capacity to deliver services to its population. In addition to this, the Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO) cooperates with the Kosovo National Audit Office (KNAO), which contributes to building and strengthening the KNAO capacity in efficient administration, democratic transparency and good use of resources.  

With a broad support, Sweden also aims to contribute to strengthening a pluralistic civil society in Kosovo, as well as its ability to monitor and debate democratic development and respect for human rights. Collaboration is therefore taking place with the Swedish organisations, Civil Rights Defenders (CRD) and Olof Palme International Center (OPIC), which works for an open and inclusive society. The Swedish organisation Save the Children is also present in Kosovo and works with Children’s rights.

Sweden furthermore cooperates with Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF), whose main purpose is to promote engagement and increase civil society coordination. Institute for advanced studies (GAP) is another Swedish partner who follows and reviews issues of administration and transparency, budget centrally and in municipalities, reforms and corruption, and new initiatives such as the establishment of a national credit institution for private sector development. Regional support is given to free and independent media, including a regional support to Balkan Investigate Report Network (BIRN).

Gender equality is a priority area in which Sweden focuses on increasing women´s participation in decision-making processes, decreasing the impact of gender-related violence and increasing cooperation between women of different ethnic backgrounds. In this area cooperation takes place with the Swedish organisation Kvinna till Kvinna, which supports women´s organisations in Kosovo.

Minority rights are supported through different programs. Sweden supports the project Support to Roma, Ashkalia and Egyptian Communities in Mitrovica. The overall objective of the project is to support the Kosovar government to reduce socioeconomic isolation and support a sustainable multi-ethnic environment that focuses on gender issues.

Since a reconciliation and conflict perspective is important, not least in northern Kosovo, Sweden cooperates with UN-Habitat and partners from civil society in northern Kosovo. The project focuses on exclusive municipal administration in the municipalities bordering to Serbia in northern Kosovo. The program has a strong conflict and rights perspective, which is considered necessary to create long-term stability, development and democracy in the region. Support is also given to Cultural Heritage Without Boarders (CHwB), a legacy from the Swedish Foundation Kulturarv utan Gränser, which aims to be a significant and credible voice for protection and promotion of cultural heritage as a tool to promote human rights, peace-building, local democracy and development.