Public Consultation in Kosovo: Legal Framework, Methods, Tools, and Their Application
The primary aim of the paper is to explore whether the public consultation system in Kosovo enables respective stakeholders to contribute and protect their interests during the process of drafting government policies and legislation. Based on the analysis of Kosovo’s legal framework in place, and findings from the empirical research with CSOs, we can conclude that Kosovo has undertaken substantial legislative steps and introduced new tools and guidelines to improve the public consultation system at the central and municipal level of government. Therefore, from the legal point of view, minimum standards for the consultation process are established under Kosovo’s legal framework. Considering the role of civil society organisations and their influence on policymaking in Kosovo, particular attention has been paid to the CSOs’ perception of this issue. The analysis of a sample of documents and CSOs’ responses reveals concerns on whether stakeholders are
enabled to contribute to the drafting of policies and legislation. A major issue of concern with regard to the effectiveness of the current consultation system in Kosovo is the low response rate from stakeholders as compared to the number of documents open to consultation. The study demonstrates a lack of clarity about
how institutions select, invite and involve stakeholders, whether they select the appropriate stakeholders to participate in the drafting and consultation process, and whether sufficient information and feedback is provided to them about the individual consultations.