The bilateral development cooperation with Kosovo started on 1999. The implementation is based on the Finland's Development Policy Programme. From the beginning of 2014 Finland's development cooperation in Balkans has focused on Kosovo.
The amount of bilateral assistance to Kosovo during the years 2015-2016 is around 2 million euros per year.
Besides bilateral cooperation, Finland supports local non-governmental organizations from the Fund for Local Cooperation (FLC) and assists Finnish organizations working in Kosovo as well.
The objectives of the European Union and the rest of the international community with respect to the Western Balkans are to support the EU integration, sustainable growth and stability and security of the region. This is supported with considerable economic assistance. Kosovo is a lower middle-income country eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA).
The implementation of the cooperation programme is guided by the following principles of the Finnish development policy:
complementarity in relations to other actors
ownership: respecting the priorities of the partner state, expecting a will to develop and maintaining the dialogue
the effectiveness of aid.
Kosovo is one of the countries that receive preparatory assistance for EU integration via the Commission’s Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). This together with the programmes of other donors is taken into account while planning the direct (bi-lateral) assistance of Finland. Some of the support is channeled also through multilateral cooperation and the multi-donor trust funds that enhance harmonization.
Finland's focuses on its assistance to Kosovo have been stability and security, social sustainability, environment, trade and development.
The social sustainability includes good governance, democracy, civil society, equality, human rights and minority rights. As a part of good governance, Finland supports decentralization. In education sector the attention is on development of inclusive (special needs) education. The fulfillment of human rights is implemented by various activities and the equality of women and men is taken into account in every project.
The assistance in environment sector has been targeted, among other things, on rural development, nature conservation and development of forestry sector – this may enhance also cross border cooperation and communication in concrete environmental issues and can bring the countries closer to each other and build confidence between them, thus contributing to regional stability.
From the year 2014, Finland focuses increasingly to trade and development. Finland supports the development of private sector, export and ability to attract investments. The main objective of the assistance is to foster inclusive growth and employment. Since the year 2015, bilateral cooperation covers also the Serb majority municipalities in the Northern Kosovo.