Kosovo: ICJ ruling a bridge to increased tourism?

Today, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague issued a nonbinding advisory ruling on the question of Kosovo’s independence.

The court ruled that Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence did not violate international law. Kosovo’s independence, in other words, was deemed by the court to be legal.

Yesterday, Marc Weller, a University of Cambridge International Law scholar, had this to say for Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty about the ruling’s prospective result: “anything that is not a clear condemnation of Kosovo will be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as a vindication of Kosovo’s claim to independence.”

Weller went on to predict that Kosovo would see a wave of recognitions by other countries (in addition to the 69 countries currently recognizing Kosovo) following a ruling that the country did not obtain its statehood illegally.

Following today’s ruling, Kosovo will no doubt have an easier time attracting foreign investment. Serbia should also benefit from increased trade and investment and emerge from this decision with an easier path to European Union accession.

In line with anticipated increased foreign investment, Kosovo should see some development as a tourist destination. Several of the country’s larger cities (Pristina, Prizren, and Peja) all have tourism potential, as do Kosovo’s beautiful Serbian Orthodox monasteries of Gracanica and Visoki Decani.

(Image: Flickr/MichaelTyler)