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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

20.08.08: Serbia warned not to play against EU camp - 0 views

  • As the EU prepares to assume responsibility for policing Kosovo from the UN, French and British diplomats have warned Serbia that its strong opposition to the EU mission and its decision to seize the UN International Court of Justice over the legality of Kosovo's declaration of independence could complicate the country's EU membership bid.
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

14.12.07: EU agrees on Kosovo mission - 0 views

  • The European Union has given the political green-light to a 1,800-strong police and civilian mission to be deployed in Serbia's breakaway region of Kosovo, although differences remain over the possible recognition of Kosovo's independence.
  • However, it remains unclear when precisely the EU's mission, consisting of 1,800 policemen, prosecutors and judges, can be deployed on the ground. While Luxembourg's Jean Asselborn said the mission would be deployed "just after Christmas [2007]", Bulgarian foreign minister Ivailo Kalfin indicated a less ambitious time-frame - "before the end of the summer [2008]". According to Slovakia's foreign minister Jan Kubis, the specifics of the mission should be concluded in January next year, after a round of consultations with the UN body.
  • Divisions on Serbia The summit also highlighted the persistent divisions among member states concerning whether to link the further integration of Serbia with the arrest of remaining war crimes suspects, notably general Ratko Mladic.
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

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

19.02.10: Ashton tackles Serb tensions on maiden voyage to Balkans - 0 views

  • EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton took aim at Serbian nationalist tensions in the western Balkans in a speech on her first trip to the region. Addressing the threat of secession by the ethnic Serb enclave in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, which threatens to undo the country's 1995 peace deal, she said: "Bosnia and Herzegovina can only join the European Union as one country ...Politics of division and flirtations with secessionist rhetoric are as harmful as they are pointless. The EU will never accept the break-up of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
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