Rock and Rule: Dancing with EULEX

July 17, 2013

Publisher: Forum 2015, Kosovo

The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) has achieved only minimal progress in improving the rule of law, according to a Forum 2015 report.

The largest international mission in Kosovo, EULEX was designed to develop and build the capacity of Kosovo’s legal institutions, judicial authorities and law enforcement agencies. However, the brief says, its success rate is far short of expectations, and organized crime and corruption remain widespread in the country.

Institutional weaknesses such as high staff turnover and lack of coordination with KFOR and other security organizations have hindered the organization from carrying out its mission. Furthermore, EULEX’s neutral position on Kosovo’s political status fosters distrust among the Kosovar people.

EULEX’s lack of visible results has only compounded the problem. The mission ranks as the least popular security institution in Kosovo, with only 22% approval according to a poll by the Kosovo Center for Security Studies.

“No international rule of law mission can be successful in winning over public support in Kosovo if it does not clearly recognize Kosovo’s independence and statehood,” the brief says.

In the Serb-majority north, on the other hand, EULEX is seen as an instrument of the government of Kosovo and therefore prevented from carrying out many of its duties.

The brief discusses failures in these areas, among others, and identifies ways to salvage the EULEX mission.

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