Since its independence, the economy of Kosovo has experienced a very high GDP growth, driven by private consumption and public investments. The recession in Europe had a very slight impact on the country's growth due to the weakness of its exports and foreign investments, and the substantial increase of its public expenditures. In 2013 its economic growth was contracted (-2.6%). In April 2013, Kosovo signed a standardization agreement with Serbia, and it marked a turning point which allowed Kosovo to start preparing to be adhered to the European Union. In 2012, the country became a member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and in 2013 of the European Investment Bank.
The country's economy, which is mainly stimulated by public spending, has to face an increasing deficit on its current accounts and the deterioration of its fiscal situation. In 2012, a new agreement was signed with the IMF (EUR 107 million in financial aid). In 2013, the institution declared that the country was going in a good direction, stressing among other facts, the improvement in the fiscal framework and the reinforcement of the central bank. Once the urgency of the reconstruction phase comes to an end, a productive economy might be created. The European Commission has implied the fragility of its economy in October 2013, judging that the legal framework had been lightly developed and the informal economy was too large. At the moment, the country's economy is largely driven by its diaspora and the international community. In spite of an improvement in 2013, the fragility of its relations with Serbia is always a heavy burden for the development of Kosovo.
According to the European Court of Auditors, the financial assistance that Kosovo received mainly from the European Union (nearly EUR 5 billion between 1999 and 2011) was insufficient. The Court has emphasized the high level of organized crime, corruption, the influence of politicians in the judicial system, as well as a lack of transparency. Foreign aid has not allowed to deal with these challenges. Kosovo is one of the poorest countries in Europe, the rate of extreme poverty is 15%. Unemployment affects 35% of the active population, particularly the young people but it is beginning to affect more and more persons with a high level of education and degrees. The educational level and the health conditions are worrisome.
|Main Indicators||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014 (e)|
|GDP (billions USD)||5.69e||6.65||6.45||6.99||7.37|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||3.2e||5.2e||2.3||2.6||4.2|
|Inflation Rate (%)||3.5||7.3||2.5||2.1||1.8|
|Current Account (billions USD)||-0.68||-0.92||-0.49||-0.74||-0.64|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||-12.0||-13.8e||-7.6e||-10.5||-8.7|
Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database - Last Available Data.
Note: (e) Estimated Data
|Euro (EUR) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 EGP|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||35.6||27.1||37.5|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||4.3||32.9||62.8|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||3.9||4.5||3.4|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
|Unemployment Rate (%)||45.3|
Source: CIA - The world factbook - Last Available Data
The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.
The world rankings, published annually, measures the violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire sent to partner organizations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and activists of human rights, including the main criteria - 44 in total - to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).
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