European integration and state development are two processes that complement one another. In adherence to the Copenhagen Criteria of 1993, legal and economic reforms are compulsory conditions that have to be fulfilled by aspiring EU members. With the unfolding of the events in 2018, Kosovo is getting closer to obtaining visa liberalization. After it has successfully fulfilled the 95-point-conditions presented by the EU, on 13 September 2018, the European Parliament has voted in favor of visa liberalization for Kosovo. Besides the concerns whether Kosovo will pass the final stages of visa liberalization, another concern remains its aftermath; will visa liberalization aid economic growth or become a catalyst for mass migration. This study will analyze the potential impact of visa liberalization on migration patterns in Kosovo. Initially it was expected that the Government of Kosovo has learned the lessons from its regional neighbors with regards to illegal migration, has implemented effective informative campaigns towards liberalization limitations, and has started to address the push factors that exacerbate emigration. After a survey with 60 respondents and two interviews with experts, it was revealed that migration is a prevailing issue in Kosovo which must not be ignored. An econometric regression was run to evaluate the factors that affect emigration decisions. Among the factors identified to influence migration tendencies were age, gender, employment status, type of employment, job search, industry of employment, area of study, income, change in income from last year, family living abroad, duration of planned stay if emigrating and the reason behind it, number of people known to emigrate soon, and awareness of liberalization limitation. The income and a worsening income affect propensity to emigrate at statistically significant levels. Further, qualitative results suggest that emigration tendencies are present and are hazardous to Kosovo’s political and economic stability but the benefits outweigh the cost of visa liberalization in the end.

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Senior Project

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Venera Demukaj


RIT Kosovo