Tuesday

26th Jan 2021

Nato and EU expand mission in northern Kosovo

  • Statue in central Pristina. Eulex is unpopular among young Kosovars (Photo: CharlesFred)

Nato and EU police (Eulex) on Thursday (13 October) stepped up their patrols in northern Kosovo and said they will dismantle barricades set up by Serbs, advising them to stay away from "illegal" protests.

The joint forces dismantled a parallel road created by the local Serbs around the Jarinje crossing point in northern Kosovo "to help prevent illegal use of a side road around the official gate and stop smuggling," a Nato press release reads.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

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

... or subscribe as a group

Nato forces also have the right "to remove barricades when the circumstances are appropriate and will not tolerate them indefinitely. Citizens should stay away from the road blockades and barricades, and should not take part in illegal protest activities," the statement added.

Last month, Nato had to step in when violence erupted at the Jarinje crossing point, with Serbs setting the border post on fire and bulldozing it. Ethnic tensions have flared in the majority-Serb part of Kosovo after Pristina decided to regain control of its border crossings in July and enforce a trade ban on Serbian goods. A Kosovo policeman was shot dead in the ensuing clashes.

Serbia, along with five EU member states, have not recognised Kosovo's independence, declared in 2008. EU police and Nato peacekeeping forces are trying to defuse tensions and clamp down on organised crime and trafficking.

Belgrade is under pressure from the EU to resume talks with Kosovo in returning for being allowed to start membership talks with the bloc.

Despite accusations from Pristina, the Serbian government maintains that it has nothing to do with the manning of barricades in northern Kosovo. Speaking to B92 radio last week, Serbian minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic said that protesters were "ordinary people protesting peacefully", including members of his own family, and that nobody had links with criminal gangs.

Rift widens on 'returns' deadline in EU migration pact

Negotiations on the European Commission's asylum and migration pact among EU states continues. But a rift is widening on the eight-month deadline for capitals to sponsor returns of failed asylum seekers.

Coronavirus

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Opinion

Migrants in Bosnia: a disaster foretold on EU doorstep

Ultimately, the European Pact on Migration and Asylum, only unveiled in September, risks reinforcing bottlenecks and misery at the borders, should be thoroughly amended before final agreement.

MEPs call for workers to have 'right to disconnect'

MEPs called for a new law guaranteeing workers can 'disconnect' outside work hours, without repercussion. But they also passed a last-minute amendment, calling on the commission to delay any legislation for three years.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  2. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!
  6. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice

Latest News

  1. Giuseppe Conte: scapegoat or Italy's most cunning politician?
  2. Borrell to meet Lavrov, while Navalny behind bars
  3. Too few central and eastern Europeans at top of EU
  4. Rift widens on 'returns' deadline in EU migration pact
  5. EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map
  6. Migrants in Bosnia: a disaster foretold on EU doorstep
  7. Navalny protests sharpen EU sanctions talks
  8. Why Russia politics threaten European security

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us