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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.12.08: EU Launches Kosovo Police Mission, EULEX - 1 views

  • Since the morning of December 9, we are to be present in the (Serb-dominated) north, in the south, and all over Kosovo. We are to have more than 100 people in the north, including policemen, the prosecutors, the judges, customs officers and the customs department,” declared Kermabon.

    The announcement from EULEX says that around 1,400 people international staff and some hundreds of local personnel from EULEX will have at its disposal the necessary number of workers for its initial operation.
  • Kermabon declared that starting from December 9, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, is to end its mission, and EULEX is to be installed.

    “UNMIK switched off and EULEX switched on,” he told Balkan Insight.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.12.08: EU Kosovo mission delayed amid protests - 0 views

  • The deployment of EULEX, the EU's police and justice mission in Kosovo, is to start on 9 December, a week later than planned, it was announced on Tuesday (2 December), as several thousand Kosovo Albanian demonstrators took to the streets of Pristina to protest against the deployment.
  • Under a plan approved by the United Nations Security Council last week, some 2,000 EU police, justice and customs officials will take over UN duties in Kosovo.

    It also foresees the EU mission being deployed under a UN mandate and take a neutral position regarding Kosovo's status – something which pleases Belgrade, but enrages Pristina.

  • Kosovars also fear the mission as planned will effectively partition their country, populated by 90 percent Albanians, and a minority of Serbs, mostly in the northern areas.

    "For us, it is important ... to see EULEX deployed as soon as possible across [the whole of] Kosovo," President Fatmir Sejdiu said Tuesday, adding that he did not "understand the delays," DPA writes.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.11.08: Kosovo still opposed to EU police mission, PM says - 0 views

  • Pristina is still opposed to the compromise deal between Serbia, the European Union and the United Nations on the deployment of EULEX, the EU's police and justice mission in Kosovo, and its stance will not change, Kosovo's prime minister, Hashim Thaci, said on Sunday (16 November).

    "Kosovo will not change its position. It is the points of this plan that need to change. We have a state position and we will defend that position until the end," Mr Thaci was reported as saying by Serbian news portal B92.net.

  • Under pressure from Belgrade, the UN presented a revised six-point plan to Kosovo leaders last week, under which EULEX would be neutral regarding Kosovo's status and would enter the Serb-dominated parts of Kosovo.

    Pristina considers that the revised proposal clashes with its interests, however.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.06.08: Western Balkans on EU agenda - 0 views

  • After a re-run of the general election in Macedonia and the entry into force of Kosovo's new constitution on Sunday, EU foreign ministers will convene today (16 June) to review the situation in the neighbouring Western Balkans.
  • Ministers will likely welcome the peaceful re-run of parliamentary elections in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Sunday, just two weeks after ethnic violence marred the first elections on 1 June. 
  • While Kosovo is not on the foreign ministers' agenda, it is unlikely that they will be able to avoid the topic, after the fledgling state's constitution entered into force on Sunday. 

    The EU is also poised to take over policing and justice tasks from the United Nations after the UN's Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week put forward proposals to "reconfigure" the activities of the UN Mission UNMIK to allow the EU to deploy its contested EU-Lex police mission there (EurActiv 29/05/08). 

    "It is my intention to reconfigure the structure and profile of the international civil presence [...] enabling the European Union to assume an enhanced operational role," said the secretary general in letters to Kosovo and Serbian leaders. 

    But the handover, which is foreseen in Kosovo's constitution, remains strongly opposed by both Serbia and Russia, who insist that the EU mission is illegal because it has not been approved by the UN Security Council. 

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.06.08: EU and UN to work side-by-side in Kosovo mess - 0 views

  • The EU's police and civil administration mission for Kosovo, EULEX, is set to start work side-by-side with the existing UN mission, UNMIK, in a legal and organisational mess surrounding Kosovo's struggle to establish independence.
  • A new UN resolution drafted in 2007 was to see UNMIK cede powers to the government of an independent Kosovo, supported by the 2,200-strong EULEX police and customs force and overseen by an EU special representative and his International Civilian Office.

    Russia blocked the new UN resolution but Kosovo declared independence unilaterally on 17 February, creating the current situation in which just 20 of the 27 EU states have recognised Kosovo independence and just 300 EULEX officials have so far been deployed.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

29.05.08: EU, UN in talks to share leadership of Kosovo mission - 0 views

  • The legal problems encountered by EU-Lex, the EU mission in Kosovo, could soon be solved, with diplomats currently in talks over plans to share the leadership with UNMIK, the United Nations peace-keeping mission.
  • Background:

    The EU decided in February 2008 to deploy a 2,200 strong 'Rule of Law' mission to Kosovo under the name 'EU-Lex Kosovo'. Its deployment has already started, after having been delayed for both technical and political reasons. 

    The initial objective was for EU-Lex to take over from UNMIK, the civilian mission established in the Serbian province following the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 in June 1999. But Serbia and Russia strongly protest against EU-Lex, because this mission has not been endorsed by the UN Security Council (EurActiv 16/04/08).

    The objective of setting up an EU mission in Kosovo is highly political. The EU has ambitions to take over the post-crisis management of a territory on European soil. It previously failed to do so in 1999 when it had to resort to NATO to stop the ethnic cleansing and acts of extreme violence perpetrated by the regime of Slobodan Milosevic. 

  • Under plans originally foreseen by the EU, the 2,200 strong EU-Lex mission would eventually replace UNMIK as the leading rule-of-law mission in the new-born state of Kosovo. 

    But faced with rejection from Serbia and Russia, which have both challenged the mission's legal legitimacy, diplomats are now drawing up plans for the two missions to co-exist under joint command. 

    The solution would provide the EU with a face-saving trick, according to diplomats who were speaking to EurActiv on condition of anonymity. This is because UNMIK has already been accepted by Serbia and Russia, which has a permanent seat at the UN Security Council. 

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

27.05.08: EULEX mission delayed. Siging of SAA with Bosnia on June 16th - 0 views

  • The EU on Monday (26 May) admitted there may be some delays in the deployment of its mission to Kosovo, but insisted they would not be "dramatic."
  • But question marks over the divisions of power between the UN, the EU and the local authorities, as well as over the mission's legal basis, seem likely to delay the process.

    "I believe EULEX could be operative on the field after the summer – September and October," Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini said after a meeting of the EU's foreign ministers in Brussels, according to Reuters.
  • Bosnia to sign pre-accession deal in June
    On Monday, the bloc's foreign ministers also announced that a pre-accession deal with Bosnia and Herzegovina would be signed on 16 June, after a two-month delay mainly due to translation issues.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.04.08: Kosovo constitution approved by EU - 0 views

  • The constitution is expected to come into effect on 15 June - around the time when the European Union's mission, known as EULEX, is supposed to take over authority from the United Nations.
  • The aim of EULEX, consisting of over 2,000 personnel, 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.

    However, it is still uncertain when exactly the transfer of power will take place, as the move lacks UN approval. Its top body, the Security Council, is divided over the issue, with Russia - Serbia's key ally - being the main opposition force.
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