A new Policy Note released by GLPS: ‘Rock and Rule: Dancing with EULEX…’

July 4, 2013

On 2 July 2013, GLPS and Forum 2015 released a Policy Analysis entitled “Rock and Rule: Dancing with EULEX”. The EULEX rule of law mission in Kosovo is the largest Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) mission to date. EULEX’s mission is to “assist the Kosovo institutions, 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 recognized standards and European best practices.” The EULEX rule of law mission, in addition to maintaining some executive functions, was built to support the capacity building and development of Kosovo’s rule of law institutions. A core function of EULEX was to coach – monitor, mentor, and advise (MMA) – Kosovo’s rule of law institutions in establishing institutional practices that support the country’s overall democratization. However, “despite significant EU assistance, progress in improving the rule of law is limited”. The stakes are high – as the largest CSDP mission – “a EULEX failure in Kosovo would be a failure of the European project in Kosovo, and potentially in the entire region of the western Balkans.” Some have argued that on an institutional, foundational level, horizontal (political) conflicts between EU member states regarding Kosovo’s status have caused ‘ambiguous recognition’ and low levels of cohesion in the justice and policing sectors– a ‘handicapped actorness’ – which has hindered its influence and effectiveness. Others, like the German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere, have argued that on an organizational level, EULEX Police in Kosovo are “on the wrong track” and have failed to carry out their rule-of law mandate; he calls for a “new start, new name, new structure, and new mandate” which should be decided upon at the EU level. The mandate, of which MMA was an essential factor, was either not met or shifted in the meantime. On a ground level, EULEX has faced numerous distinctive challenges, many of which continue to hinder EULEX’s work particularly in the north of Kosovo. What stakeholders and scholars from different regions and schools of thought clearly agree on is that EULEX has yet to successfully realize the objectives of their mandate. This policy note aims to concisely and realistically identify ten areas where EULEX went wrong. This Policy Note could be downloaded by clicking here (for the Albanian version click here).

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