Cooperation and coordination of EULEX Mission with local stakeholders within the new mandate and new priorities

September 25, 2014

On 25 September 2014, Group for Legal and Political Studies hosted a Panel Discussion on the following topic: ‘Cooperation and coordination of the EULEX with local stakeholders within the new mandate and new priorities’. The Panel Discussion examined the challenges facing the EULEX mission, and played a key role in informing the ongoing debate within both Kosovo and the European Union concerning the challenges of strengthening the rule of law in Kosovo. The panelists highlighted the significance of enduring cooperation and coordination with local actors, EULEX and the Government in fighting corruption and organized crime. Of course, an important part of this Panel was devoted to the main priorities of the new EULEX mandate, and the way how such priorities can be linked with Kosovo’s European integration route. The Panel Discussion opened with a presentation of a Policy Report entitled: ‘Hybrid Court System in Kosovo: ‘Has EULEX proven to be the device to strengthen the independence and effectiveness of the judiciary?’. The Report provides a unique contribution that helps explain the relationship of EULEX and Kosovo court system, analyzing it from a perspective of the hybrid courts theory. The report argues that while EULEX has provided crucial support to the consolidation of Kosovo’s rule of law institutions, EULEX has not undertaken necessary steps to ensure active engagement of Kosovo jurists in the adjudication of complex and serious crimes, and therefore has unsuccessfully facilitated the gradual transfer of competences to the Kosovo judiciary. Instead, the Report acknowledges, EULEX has overwhelmingly exercised its executive functions and has failed to sufficiently design local-majority panels in serious and complex criminal cases. The Report goes on to argue that only a small number of local judges sit as the majority on mixed panels that deal with complex or serious crimes in Kosovo’s first-instance courts. This is an unfortunate legacy given that local participation and ownership are necessary for developing an experienced and professional Kosovo judicial culture, and risks replicating the same mistakes under the UNMIK hybrid panels. While perhaps too early to tell whether majority international panels have risked encouraging local judicial dependence on international jurists, success in the long-term depends on a strong institution that is capable of handling difficult and controversial cases. Therefore, EULEX must continue to gradually shift to a more egalitarian approach and support Kosovo jurists who must be assured a driving seat in the judicial reform process. The Report may be downloaded by clicking here.


Panelists in Attendance:

Mr. Bernd Borchardt, Head of EULEX Mission in Kosovo;

Mr. Sylë Hoxha, Acting Chief of State and Head of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council;

Mr. Shpend Maxhuni, General Director, Kosovo Police;

Mr. Hasan Preteni, Executive Director, Kosovo Anti-Corruption;

Mr. Dren Doli, Group for Legal and Political Studies.


Venue: Conference Room Orion,

Str. ‘Rexhep Luci’, No. 2, Pristina, Kosovo

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