Friday

26th Apr 2019

EU Kosovo mission to start Saturday morning

  • Pristina - The timing of the EU mission to Kosovo has been crucial (Photo: UNMIK)

The European Union has given its final "operational" go-ahead to the 1,800-strong mission of policemen, prosecutors and judges to be deployed to Serbia's breakaway region of Kosovo, with the actual deployment expected to start on Saturday morning (16 February).

Diplomats have confirmed to EUobserver that the 27-nation bloc on Wednesday initiated a so-called 'silent procedure' - a low profile diplomatic procedure - to formalise the mission, a process that runs until midnight Friday.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The timing has been crucial due to the fact that the disputed region of Kosovo is likely to declare independence on Sunday (17 February).

Several EU states demanded the mission be approved before the act of independence, as they feared giving the go ahead afterwards would imply recognition of a new Kosovo state.

"The actual fight over the mission took place last week", one EU diplomat said, when asked about the stance of different member states during Wednesday decision-making process.

Last week the EU approved the so-called joint action, ending 90 percent of preparatory work, but Cyprus took advantage of a "constructive abstention" mechanism, meaning that Nicosia will not participate in the mission, but will not block it.

Diplomats say that the mission is legally based on current UN Security Council resolution 1244 - the same one that introduced the UN administration over the Serbian province back in 1999.

"There is still hope that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will formally support the mission", a diplomat said.

However, he addmitted that the chances of this happening are slim due to heavy pressure from Russia as well as legal ambiguity over the mission at UN headquarters.

Earlier this month, Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told journalists in Brussels that he was "sure" that the head of United Nations would "not legitimise" the EU's mission.

The nod of approval "would mean that Ban Ki-Moon was going beyond his responsibilities as secretary general", Mr Chizhov stressed and acknowledged that Moscow was putting the UN chief under heavy pressure.

An EU diplomat on Thursday suggested that the bloc would try to "beef" up the legality of the mission by referring to general principles of international law.

Kosovo has been under UN administration since 1999 when NATO air strikes ended Serbia's crackdown against ethnic Albanians.

The EU's mission to Serbia's breakaway province is designed to take over some of the UN's duties in order to strengthen stability in Kosovo and ensure that its future set-up observes democratic standards.

EU Kosovo mission launched

The European Union formally launched its 2,000-strong mission of policemen, prosecutors and judges to Kosovo on Saturday, just a day before the breakaway Serbian province declared independence.

Trump's Israel plan to 'test' EU resolve

EU countries ought to draw "red lines" for US president Donald Trump on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Herman Van Rompuy, the former head of the EU Council, has said.

EU seeks mini-trade detente with US

EU states have agreed to open trade talks with the US in a bid to rebuild relations with their oldest partner on the world stage.

News in Brief

  1. Talks to merge Germany's two largest banks collapse
  2. EU and Japan back Iran nuclear deal despite US
  3. China addresses EU concerns on belt and road plan
  4. EU: Russian citizenship plan 'attacks' Ukraine sovereignty
  5. Deutsche Bank hands over Trump loan documents
  6. UN: Europe is badly prepared for new refugee crisis
  7. Macron to set out 'Yellow vest' counter measures
  8. Italy requests EU action plan for new Libya migrant wave

Opinion

Closer EU-Caribbean ties mean greater prosperity for all

The foreign affairs minister of Haiti calls for the replacement EU-Africa, Caribbean, Pacific 'Cotonou' agreement of 2000 to be updated to take account climate change, infrastructure and tourism to help the country transition away from aid-dependence.

EU migrants sneaking into US from Mexico

Almost 1,000 Romanian nationals were caught trying to sneak into the United States in 2017, of which around half attempted to cross via Mexico. Nationals from countries like Hungary and the UK were also intercepted.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Migration and climate are EU's top priorities, Macron says
  2. Greens commit to air quality 'super commissioner'
  3. Far-right Facebook networks removed before Spain election
  4. EU and Japan in delicate trade talks
  5. Closer EU-Caribbean ties mean greater prosperity for all
  6. Details of EU Brexit talks with Blair and Soros kept secret
  7. Weber vows to block Nord Stream 2 amid 'sue' threat
  8. 'Next Juncker' must fix EU's corporate power problem

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us