Tuesday

26th May 2020

EU Kosovo mission launched

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS The European Union launched its Kosovo mission on Saturday (16 February), just a day before the breakaway Serbian province declared independence.

Dubbed EULEX, the mission has three components - a rule of law mission, an EU special representative who will also chair an International Civilian Office there, and a European Commission unit leading economic development and reform.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The aim is to help the Kosovo authorities in all areas related to the rule of law, in particular in the police, judiciary, customs and correctional services.

"It's the most important mission for the EU until now", the head of EULEX mission, Yves de Kermabon, said on Saturday (16 February), adding "we are not there to administrate but to assist with some executive powers".

Over 120 days, the 27-nation bloc will deploy more than 2,000 police, customs officers, judges and prosecutors in Kosovo territory. Member states will participate differently in the mission, Romania will send 175 people for example, while Belgium will send 45 and Slovakia eight.

Several non-EU states are also taking part in the mission, including the United States, Turkey, Switzerland, Croatia and Norway. The international staff will be accompanied by 1,000 locals.

"During the four month transition, UNMIK will stay in place and stay in charge of the security and the situation in Kosovo", Mr Kermabon said, referring to an interim civilian administration led by the United Nations. UNMIK was established by UN Security Council resolution 1244 in 1999.

But any major security threats in Kosovo will be primarily dealt with by the 17,000-strong NATO-led forces, KFOR.

Legally, the EU mission is based on the same resolution, 1244, although Serbia and Russia continue to strongly criticise this arrangement.

Serbia has called the EU's presence "an occupation", with the country's deputy prime minister Bozidar Djelic handing a formal protest to Slovenian Ambassador to Belgrade Miroslav Luci, whose country currently holds the EU's presidency.

"The Government of Serbia considers this decision, made outside the auspices of the United Nations Security Council, illegal," Belgrade's statement was cited as saying by AFP news agency.

Meanwhile, Russia called on Sunday for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. It will enter its second day today (18 February).

The costs of the mission are estimated at €205 million for the initial 16 months of its presence, although it is widely expected that it will last much longer.

EU Kosovo mission to start Saturday morning

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.

EU sued for funding 'forced labour' Eritrea highway

The Dutch Foundation Human Rights for Eritreans has initiated a court case against the European Union for financing highway projects in an Eritrea where forced labour is rampant. The lawsuit comes amid a European Parliament debate on the funding.

News in Brief

  1. Johnson: Shops in UK will reopen on 15 June
  2. German doctors: Summer holidays could cause second wave
  3. EU forced to choose between China and US: Borrell
  4. Spain to lift two-week arrival quarantine from July
  5. Germany gives Lufthansa €9bn bailout for equity stake
  6. Volkswagen ordered to pay in landmark 'dieselgate' case
  7. 40 million health workers urge more G20 investment
  8. Jourova: Budget rule-of-law link 'more needed than ever'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  3. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers call for post-corona synergies between economic recovery and green transition
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic co-operation on COVID-19
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic research collaboration on pandemics

Latest News

  1. How Kaczyński ruined Poland, judges tell MEPs
  2. EU data protection rules abused to censor media
  3. Draft EU 'green recovery' plan amid clash over natural gas
  4. Clock is ticking: 300,000 vs 3.3m Covid-19 Africa deaths?
  5. Recovery plans unveiled This WEEK
  6. EU and UK stumbling into Irish border crisis
  7. Malta patrol boat 'intimidates' capsized migrants
  8. How coronavirus might hit EU defence spending

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us