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news 06 Sep 12

Kosovo Parliament to Ratify EULEX Deal

Parliament on Friday is expected to ratify Kosovo's first bilateral agreement with the EU, extending the mandate of the EU rule of law mission, EULEX, till June 2014.

Fatmir Aliu
BIRN
Pristina

The European Union has accepted Kosovo’s invitation to continue the mandate of its rule of law mission, BIRN sources said. The EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton, and Kosovo’s President Atifete Jahjaga have already exchanged letters in Kosovo's first bilateral agreement with Brussels.

Ashton thanked the Kosovo authorities for their readiness "to facilitate the process" of extending the mandate of EULEX.

Kosovo’s government on Wednesday adopted the exchange of letters and parliament is to vote on a draft law to this effect on Friday.

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said that by ratifying the document, EULEX’s mandate was being extended till June 2014.

It was Kosovo's last international obligation before parliament adopts constitutional changes on Monday, ending the period of internationally supervised independence, he noted.

“The government and all of Kosovo’s institutions have successfully met all their obligations and duties to end this process,” Thaci said.

Since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, 89 states, including 22 EU member states, have recognized the country.

EULEX was launched in June 2008 under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, to assist and support the Kosovo authorities with the rule of law, namely the judiciary, police and customs services.

The draft law adopted on Wednesday regulates the issue of the immunity of EULEX personnel and office, the office of the EU Special Representative and the issue of appointing European judges and prosecutors.

Parliament is to hold a solemn session on Monday marking the end of the era of supervised independence.

Among those expected to take part are the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Martti Ahtisaari and the rest of his team that drew up the plan that led to Kosovo’s declaration of independence.

The International Steering Group, a group of 25 states that has overseen Kosovo since it declared independence from Serbia in 2008, announced on July 2 that Kosovo would become fully independent in September 2012.

EULEX was launched in June 2008 under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, to assist and support the Kosovo authorities with the rule of law, namely the judiciary, police and customs services.

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