Kosovo Minister Rexhepi Demands Exit-Strategy for EU Rule-of-Law Mission

Bajram-RexhepiPRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo’s Minister for Internal Affairs Bajram Rexhepi obviously won’t ‘let go’. In interviews with broadcasting media Rexhepi repeated his skepticism against the EU Rule-of-Law Mission in Kosovo: "…, this mission came to Kosovo upon our request, but we also have a monitoring group which supervises the work of EULEX, and as far as I’m informed, Brussels is also not really satisfied with EULEX’s work, and if they continue like this, they have two options: either increase efficiency or plan an exit strategy from Kosovo. … the ministries in charge for the rule of law … have concrete requests, and we would like these to be implemented in partnership with EULEX.".

In this context Rexhepi again addressed the return of Kosovar judges to northern Kosovo as well as the the roll back of Serbian parallel justice and administrative structures around the Mitrovica region: "… there was a lot of pomposity about everything. For instance for fighting crime or corruption, there are more media shows than concrete results, and there are no positive moves. And to top it all, they (EULEX) said that it is not in their responsibility to return local judges and prosecutors to the District Court”.

On beforehand verbal clashes with EULEX deputy head Andy Sparkes Minister Rexhepi stated harshly, “I don’t have to give any explanation to Andy Sparkes. He asked me to meet him – and I repeated what I had said. And in an indirect way Sparkes himself ex-pressed that he is not satisfied with the work done".

Finally Rexhepi concludes that "results are fairly modest for such a mission which is financed by European taxpayers. Also a lot of Ambassadors are not really satisfied with the work of EULEX. While Europe asks for the increase of efficiency in the rule of law, EULEX is not implementing this in the north, and we are those, who pay the price”.

Different from protests out of the political opposition in Kosovo, e.g. against hiring a Romanian police officer as the head of the EULEX special police forces, attacks now arise repeatedly and more insistently from government officials:

Recently Kosovo police head Maliqi warned EULEX to send Kosovo special police forces, in case EULEX police and justice would continuously hesitate to fight crimes in the Serb dominated northern Kosovo. Further on Justice Minister Kuci assisted the attacks from Rexhepi, by saying that he wouldn’t criticize, "that EULEX is working, but that it is not working", whereas Rexhepi initially stated: "God save us from EULEX".

All this is accompanied by an ongoing discussion of the Kosovar parliament to soon end by constitutional changes, what is called ‘supervised independence’. However the main critics refer to the EULEX viewpoint, the implementation of official Prishtina-led justice structures in the Serb dominated north of Kosovo should be politically negotiated with Serbia. In this Kosovo Albanian politicians – both of ruling and opposition parties anticipate a EU supported division of the country.          

For more news about Kosovo go to KON / NEWS KOSOVO

Korrik Sofalia

This article was first published on Technorati

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