Kosovars losing faith in EULEX and the EU, Riinvest polling shows
News Source: Riinvest Institute, Kosovo
The percentage of Kosovars who say they trust the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and the EU took a sharp drop in 2015, according to the results of a Riinvest Institute poll conducted as part of a PASOS project on transparency in the Western Balkans.
About 31 percent of Kosovars have trust in EULEX, down from 54 percent in a similar poll conducted in 2014. Trust in the EU is down from 64 percent in 2014 to 53 percent in the latest poll, which was held in the fall of 2015.
EULEX aims to assist and support Kosovo authorities in the rule of law area, with a specific focus on the judiciary. An independent report commissioned by the EU last year concluded that the mission had failed to curb corruption in Kosovo. The mission has also come under criticism from Transparency International, which has charged the EU with intimidating a whistleblower who made claims of corruption within EULEX.
The Kosovo Force (KFOR), NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, was ranked as the country’s most-trusted public institution for the second year in a row, with nearly 67 percent of Kosovars expressing trust in KFOR. It was followed by the Kosovo Police (65.3 percent), NGOs (54.8 percent), and religious institutions (54.6 percent).
Political parties (13.3 percent) again ranked as the least-trusted institutions in Kosovo, mirroring a trend across the region. The government’s anti-corruption agency (22.2 percent) also fared poorly.
The polling was conducted as part of Advocacy for Open Government, an EU-funded project to encourage governments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia to become more transparent.
Download: Full polling results from Riinvest