Press Release: Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier on extension of EULEX Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo

Apr 24, 2014

A Federal Foreign Office spokesperson issued the following statement in Berlin today (24 April):

We welcome the fact that Kosovo’s parliament yesterday approved the extension of EULEX Kosovo, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in the country, by a large majority. MPs also approved the establishment of an international special court to hear cases dealing with allegations contained in what is known as the Marty report, published by the Council of Europe.

Parliament’s broad backing for these votes reflects the maturity and sense of responsibility of a large majority of policy‑makers in Kosovo. Kosovo has thus clearly expressed its commitment to the adjudication of such crimes, even in highly political cases. The votes are also a clear demonstration of the country’s desire to continue its close cooperation with the EU on the rule of law and security, and to move closer to the EU.

Background information

On 23 April 2014, Kosovo’s parliament approved the exchange of letters between President Jahjaga and EU High Representative Ashton concerning the agreement to continue the EU Rule of Law Mission EULEX Kosovo with the required two‑thirds majority.

The EULEX mandate has thus been extended until June 2016 and the go‑ahead given for the establishment of a special court to hear cases arising from the work of the Special Investigative Task Force, which has been looking into the allegations contained in the Marty report. These relate to war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the immediate aftermath of the Kosovo war, and include trafficking in human organs.

EULEX plays a key role in strengthening rule‑of‑law structures in Kosovo and supporting the process of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. German diplomat Bernd Borchardt currently heads EULEX Kosovo.

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