Category Archives: Society

Vienna Focus Group comlpeted successfully

Virtual Registration of Diaspora initiative has successfully completed the discussion forum. Held at the premises of the Kosovar Embassy in Vienna, the event gathered representatives of the departments of Kosovo, specifically the Ministry of the Diaspora, representatives of various Albanian organizations in Austria and numerous members from the civil society. The forum once again highlighted the importance of meeting directly with citizens and exchange of information with related institutions.2

The discussion form brought together participants from Kosovo,Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania. A question and answer session with the  Secretary of the Ministry of Diaspora, Mentor Borovci, Director of Media Department of the Ministry of Diaspora Mr. Lorik Pustina and the Consul of Kosovo in Austria, Mr. Imer Ladrovci.1

Among many question, a rather important one was raised by Mr. Abdullah Abdullahi from Prizren, who asked whether Albanians who have Austrian citizenship have the right to register and proposed that the registration process intensify during the summer months. Representatives of the Ministry of Diaspora explained that this registration will not cause legal trouble to anyone and does not create any legal complication with dual citizenship, thus it encourages diaspora community members of every legal standing to register.

Mr. Hamez Morina from the ESIKS organizations in Vienna is seeking to promote the Diaspora Registration by ease of access to public services or  reward based program. Another efficient method highlighted by Mr. Morina has been contacting members of the diaspora previously engaged in projects such as “Brain Gain”.

The discussion form has been characterized also by numerous questions regarding Albanians from Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania.  Mr. Sabri Osmani from the city of Ulqin demanded that the registry is more inclusive, alongside Mr. Osmani, a number of people demanded that the Kosovar embassy contact the Macedonian and Montenegrin counterparts in order to expand the reach of the registry.3

Empowered Kosovar in Germany: Elona Kastrati’s Feminist Protest

Elona Kastrati made headlines in Karlsruhe, Germany, with her awareness campaign on gender equality. She chose “International Women’s Day” to spread her word on sanitary pads, which she put on the main road signs with provocative writing superimposed on the pads.

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The twenty year-old Kosovar shares her thoughts on the campaign in an exclusive interview for KosovoDiaspora.

KD: What made you do it?

EK: I was thinking about how menstruation is a taboo theme in our world.

KD: Could you very shortly tell us about the activity and how it started?

EK: I stuck feminist quotes for GENDER equality on menstruation pads i was with my sister Nora in my city and so we started

KD: Was the reaction all positive, or, were there critiques of your activity?

EK: Of course there were critiques but mostly good ones! I dont care about bad ones because its good that poeple at least talk about it

KD: Is there anything brewing in the near future?

EK: Yeah some little street art things and a speech in TEDxPrishtinaWomen

You can follow Elona on instagram.Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 9.48.16 PMElonaK

“Good Morning Balkan”, an exhibition by Dardan Luta

“Good Morning Balkan”, by graphic artist Dardan Luta (who is also part of the KosovoDiaspora team), will be opening on the 8th of April at 19:00 in the Gallery of the Ministry of Culture of Kosovo, located at “Qafa” in Prishtina.

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“Dardan Luta tests the borders of reality, with street art. It comes differently framed before the audience. Dardan does not create to reach fame, because fame to him is like a propaganda postcard. He creates to mark and reach current life, because only in this way can he overcome the fear of the time we are living in.” said curator Adem Rusinovci.

11His Norwegian teacher, Simon N James-Eide, also praises the exhibition with high accolades. “Luta’s work engages the viewer head-on. It confronts, challenges, visually calls out in anger, as it delivers its hard-hitting message. His texts fill the canvas, they are noisy, insistent, demanding. His is no armchair art: there is no reassurance or consolation as he tackles themes of conflict, nationalism and death. Whilst locating his oeuvre within the Kosovar context, he draws on wider references of war and human suffering. In these ways Luta offers us insights into the specific, local effects of the conflict, whilst simultaneously challenging us to set these insights in a global perspective.” DLexhibition DLuta2 DLuta3 DLuta4 DLuta5Photos courtesy of KultPlus




Arbër Bullakaj to Wiler City Council

Arbër Bullakaj from Kosovo is elected Vice-President of the Social Democratic Party in the Canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He was officially entitled in the position of SP Vice-President on January 10th 2015. Bullakaj has joined the SP eight years ago and since January 2013, he is a member of the city council of Wil.

As a finance and accounting specialist, his area of interest includes, but is not limited to, equal opportunities in education, expansion of public services, the promotion of renewable energy and environmental protection.

Bullakaj was born on 05.04.1986 in Prizren, Kosovo. At the age of 8, his family moved from the beautiful village of Sallagrazhde (Prizren) to Switzerland. As a child of immigrants, Bullakaj believes that he can help all Swiss citizens, including migrants, to better understand each other. According to him, “a successful migration always reflects social integration, because it needs the goodwill of all parties involved in the process.”

To learn more about his recent political activities, visit or at the Gjilan Regional Fair

August in Gjilan has begun with the Regional Product Fair. Amongst the fruits, pastries, drinks and bicycles, the people passing through the fair could find our table. Liza Gashi, Valon Xoxa and  Roberto Cancel (from IOM) were there to inform on the past and future projects of the initiative.

Furthermore the team took the chance to utilize the far reach of the fair and inform as many people as possible on the Diaspora Registry Process initiated by the Ministry of Diaspora. If you have not had the chance to catch us at the fair, please check the for information on how to register. Kids, elderly, couples and groups of family members swung by our table to curiously check the leaflets and learn of the Diaspora Registry.


The fair was initially planned for the 1st of August, however due to bad weather, everything was moved to Saturday. Both the first and second day of the Regional Fair were followed up with evening concerts where crowds of people enjoyed music on the steps of the National Theatre.

Osman Sadkiu, the newest canton level representative of Albanian origin in Switzerland

Members of Kosovo Albanian Diaspora in Switzerland, being one of the largest Kosovo communities abroad, is slowly taking its steps towards engaging within democratic institutions of the host country. Osman Sadiku is one of the five Kosovo-born citizens of Switzerland that was elected as a legislator in one of the 26 cantons of the country. 

The Albanian community in Switzerland, from 26th of June has its fifth legislator within canton level parliaments. Osman Sadiku,  a representative of the Social Democratic Party has sworn the oath on Wednesday at the canton Parliament of Glarus, where he will be holding the mandate of a legislator. Before  Sadiku’s oath, there are four other legislators of Albanian origin from Kosovo that were elected in Swiss Institutions. Zari Xhaferi was elected at the canton of Zug. Ylfete Fanaj at the canton of Lucerne; another was the Albanian-Swiss citizen, Etrit Hassler who was elected at the canton of St.Gallen.  All four representatives come from the ranks of the Social Democratic Party. The  first ever cantonal-level legislator of Albanian origin is Osman Osmani, elected in 2006 at the canton of Schaffhausein.

Osman Sadiku, an immigration specialist, residing for 18 years in Switzerland. From Kosovo, Dardana Municipality, went to Switzerland to work as an electric engineer. In Switzerland he worked for 14 years at the Red Cross, in Glarus. There, he gathered important experience working with foreigners and people in need. This and his engagement with social activities brought him close to the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland.

The original article was posted in Albanian at IndeksOnline. Click here to read the original article.  


Diaspora Minister Suggests Reserving 3-5 Seats for the Diaspora in Kosovo’s Parliament

The Kosovo Minister of Diaspora, Ibrahim Makolli takes a stand for representing the Kosovo Diaspora in the country’s Parliament. In an interview with, Minister Makolli emphasizes the political, academic, intellectual and economic potential of the diaspora, which could be beneficial for the legislative but also for other institutions in Pristina. Last year in September, Makolli demanded the Committee for Constitutional Changes to ensure seats for the diaspora in the Parliament. Mr. Minister, your request for the Diaspora representation is currently being discussed at the Parliament. You requested reserved seats for the leaders of Kosovars living abroad?

Minister Makolli: This idea is not new. Considering the role and contribution of our diaspora and taking into account their political, intellectual and academic potential, it is obvious that the diaspora should have a direct influence on political decision processes.

We have examples of other states, which have reserved seats for their diasporas in their respective Parliaments. Although, the contribution of the diaspora into these countries is much less compared to how much the Kosovo diaspora has contributed to Kosovo. Therefore, I think the voice of the diaspora should be represented in the highest institution of our country. You suggested that the Parliament Committee for Constitutional Changes should consider the question of diaspora representation at the Parliament.

Minister Makolli: Last year [2011] in September, we made an analysis and presented our recommendations to the commission. We demanded representation of the diaspora within the framework of the Constitutional changes. We hope that the Committee will take our request into consideration, which is also being supported by the political parties. How many seats should be reserved for the members of Diaspora in Kosovo’s Parliament?

Minister Makolli: This has to be decided by the Committee. Based on our analysis, we suggested 3 to 5 seats for the diaspora members. It is said that one third of the Kosovo people live abroad. Are 5 seats for the social group enough? And how will the election campaign be organized for these seats?

Minister Makolli: It will be just like in any other country. Our diaspora can be divided in constituencies, for instance, in 2 or 3 constituencies, depending on the number of candidates. 3 seats can be reserved for the European representation, for instance. Elections should follow the criteria and rules that are valid for elections in Kosovo. How difficult are the elections in the diaspora going to be?

Minister Makolli: Elections abroad are complex, even for countries with advanced mechanisms. We cannot remain in a position in which we say that we do not have the necessary means and, therefore, we cannot do anything about it. It is feasible. In some states we have diplomatic representatives, we have an agreement with Albania and we can ask for support in other countries. In a technical aspect, these points should be doable. Regarding financial matters, elections are an expensive affair, however, democracy and its development is priceless. Mr. Minister, would the diaspora have to be registered first, in order for the elections to take place?

Minister Makolli: I think that this is a misinterpretation. This is about two different things. On the one hand, there is the population index and on the other hand, there is the civic index. Our diaspora that lives abroad and has a Kosovar citizenship is in the electoral registry, because every citizen of voting-age is listed in this register. This might be true for the first and second generation. But what about the third generation, that mainly has foreign citizenship?

Minister Makolli: This generation also has Kosovo documentation. According to the Constitution, even children born abroad have the right to Kosovo citizenship. Consequently, they are listed in the electoral registry as well. The number of voters in Kosovo is about the same as the number of population of voting-age, which means that they are included in the voting registry. From this perspective, the elections abroad should be neither a technical, nor a political issue. Mister Makolli, if Diaspora is to be represented in the country’s Parliament, should the Ministry of Diaspora exist in the government?

Minister Makolli: The underlying idea is to be represented in the highest legislative institution. In practice, how does it look like with other states? How do you organize the diaspora-representation in the Parliament?

Minister Makolli: Representation at the Parliament is an indication that the country of origin appreciates the potential abroad. Examples for that are Italy, France, Croatia, and most recently Macedonia. Our diaspora has a great intellectual and political potential, and able to utilize that for Kosovo. The chairman of the Self Determination Movement (Vetëvendosje!) and the head of of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs, Albin Kurti, recommended to you to have the Diaspora represented in the government, rather than to have the government represent the diaspora. Do you agree with him?

Minister Makolli: Everyone has his/her own perspective on that. I believe that my actions and those of the Ministry of Diaspora are within the framework of the diaspora interest-representation in Kosovo. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion and their own viewpoint, but I am saying this with the highest responsibility, we have exclusively been in service for the Diaspora ever since the Ministry was established. Now, I would like to pose a question about investments. Is there a safe climate for diaspora-investments in Kosovo?

Minister Makolli: In the past months, there have been improvements in the legal infrastructure regarding real investments. In order to create a safer investment climate in Kosovo, some laws were passed and some are still under revision. Many communities have specific business-zones, some even repealed taxes, in order to attract as many investors as possible. Also the Judiciary increased its efficiency. An encouraging message is that from January 2013 and on, the judicial system plans to introduce facilitation reforms in this area. Can the most recent Parliamentary debate be discouraging to foreign investors, for instance for the Kosovo Diaspora?

Minister Makolli: Of course this makes people hesitant. There are scenes which try to influence the election campaign. My advice to potential investors is not to let politics of the day influence them. In such politics we attack each other in order to win the elections. Also the wording should be more moderate, since this is what often frightens potential investors.

End of Interview.

Source: “3-5 Seats for Diaspora Members in the Parliament.” March 15, 2012.