Monday

26th Jun 2017

EU prepares its biggest ever security mission in Kosovo

The EU on Monday made its first step towards a new and increased security role in Kosovo, in what could be its biggest ever civilian and security mission, Balkans news agency DTT-NET.COM writes.

Foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday (10 April) agreed to establish an EU Planning Team, a group of experts to design the future policing role of the EU in Kosovo, once the status of the UN- administrated territory is resolved.

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In line with earlier proposals by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn, the planning team should develop plans for an EU crisis management operation, particularly in the field of rule of law and police.

According to Monday’s decision, the team should prepare a "smooth transition between selected tasks of UNMIK and a possible EU crisis management operation, in the field of rule of law and other areas that might be identified by the EU Council in the context of the future status process."

The mandate of the UN security mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is to end after ongoing negotiations between Belgrade and Prishtina on Kosovo are finalised.

According to a recent paper by Mr Solana and Mr Rehn, the EU mission in Kosovo in the post-UNMIK period would be the union's biggest and most expensive mission ever.

The EU, Russia and the US said last week that they hope that the status of Kosovo will be resolved by the end of the year.

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