Kosovo: Council establishes an EU Rule of Law Mission, appoints an EU Special Representative

Posted in Europe | 18-Feb-08 | Source: Council of the European Union

- The Council has decided to launch the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo - "EULEX Kosovo". The mission's operational phase is foreseen to start after a 120-day transition period from the decision to launch.

The Council adopted, by written procedure, a joint action on EULEX Kosovo1.

The mission, which will be conducted under the European security and defence policy (ESDP), will assist Kosovo authorities, judicial authorities and law enforcement agencies in their progress towards sustainability and accountability and in further developing and strengthening an independent multi-ethnic justice system and multi-ethnic police and customs service, ensuring that these institutions are free from political interference and adhering to internationally recognised standards and European best practices.

The mission will include a police component, a justice component and a customs component, co-located with the relevant services and ministries.

EULEX Kosovo, in full co-operation with the Community assistance programmes, will carry out its mandate through monitoring, mentoring, and advising, while retaining certain executive responsibilities.

The financial reference amount intended to cover the expenditure related to an initial period of 16 months will be EUR 205 million.

- The Political and Security Committee decided on 7 February 2008 to appoint Yves de Kermabon as Head of the EULEX Kosovo mission.

- In parallel with the joint action establishing EULEX Kosovo, the Council also adopted a joint action establishing an EU Special Representative (EUSR)2 for Kosovo and appointing Pieter Feith to this position. The mandate of the EUSR will be notably to offer the EU's advice and support in the political process; to promote overall EU coordination in Kosovo; to provide local political guidance to the Head of the EULEX Kosovo mission; and to contribute to the development and consolidation of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Kosovo.

1 OJ L042, 16 February 2008, p. 92
2 OJ L042, 16 February 2008, p. 88