The European Union has put its money where its mouth is at a conference to drum up donor aid for Kosovo.
It has promised half a billion euros to rebuild the shattered economy of the self-declared independent state, and a European Commission spokeswoman said individual member states are expected to make their own pledges on top of that.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci told the conference: “Please, judge us not on past politics but on economic realities of new Kosovo, not on our previous shortcomings but on our future potential to change the lives of our people for the better.”
Kosovo was the poorest part of what was Yugoslavia for decades and it’s still carrying the economic burden of the war at the end of the 1990s. Now, it has applied to join the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank hoping to boost the legitimacy it needs to attract loans and investors.
EU sources say the one-day conference in Brussels is expected to raise one-and-a-half billion euros.