Saturday

19th Aug 2017

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides