Kosovo was bombed in 1999 on the basis of humanitarian intervention. ‘On the Edge of Europe’, examines the situation in Kosovo pre-independence and examines the major challenges faced under the governance of the United Nations.
Focusing on the period from March 2004, when violent riots in Kosovo shocked the international community, to October 2004, when general elections were held, the film looks specifically at the role and responsibilities of the European Union and the legacy of war that the Balkans still suffers.
EU Foreign Policy chief and former NATO Secretary General, Javier Solana, gives his perspective on Kosovo and his own personal frustrations; while Director of UN Peacekeeping operations, Jean-Marie Guehenno, talks of the difficulties in governing the territory: a new challenge for the UN.
In addition, ‘On the Edge of Europe’ contains interviews with leading Kosovan figures such as the late Albanian leader, President Ibrahim Rugova and Serbian leader and Patriach of Kosovo, Bishop Artemje.
There are also interviews with key commentators, both international and local, including interviews with Balkans Historian Misha Glenny and Gerald Knaus, Director of the lead think-tank on the Balkans, the European Stability Initiative.
In 2004, the UN representative in Kosovo, Soren Jessen-Petersen, warned: “There is a lot of attention these days on other priorities, like Iraq and Afghanistan, but turning our back on Kosovo at this stage would be a serious mistake.”
Gerald Knaus, goes further in the documentary: “If in a small area, with 1.8 million people, in the middle of Europe, with all the major international agencies present, and with all the money that has been spent, the international community can’t make a success of things here, then where?”
‘On the Edge of Europe’ is a current affairs documentary with international significance and appeal.
Broadcast: Serbia (B-92), Estonia (ETV), Slovenia (STV1) and Kosovo (RTK)
Running time: 56 mins
Language: English, Albanian and Serbian with English sub-titles