Brussels, 16 January 2014
EU and Kosovo* discuss rule of law
The representatives of Kosovo and the EU met for the third time in the framework of the Structured Dialogue on the Rule of Law in Brussels today. Kosovo presented a comprehensive overview of the progress it made in the rule of law in 2013. As a key output of the meeting Kosovo is to prepare a comprehensive rule of law strategy and action plan by the end of April. This will allow the EU and other donors to provide strategically targeted assistance to Kosovo over the next three years. This should also allow Kosovo to gradually assume rule of law-related responsibilities from EULEX.
The Structured Dialogue on the Rule of Law offers an opportunity for high-level political discussions related to Justice, Freedom and Security, and Judiciary and Fundamental Rights. Today's meeting featured discussions concerning the judiciary and judicial reform, independence of the judiciary, the fight against organised crime and corruption and the effective prevention of corruption. The EEAS provided a procedural update on the upcoming review of the EU's rule of law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, which is to be discussed in the Council shortly.
The meeting was chaired by Director General for Enlargement of the European Commission Christian Danielsson. Also participating were representatives of the Commission and European External Action Service (EEAS), the EULEX Head of Mission Bernd Borchardt and the EU Special Representative/Head of the EU Office in Kosovo Samuel Žbogar. The Kosovo delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Hajredin Kuçi. In addition to Deputy Prime Minister Kuçi, the Kosovo Ministers for Internal Affairs Bajram Rexhepi, and for European Integration Vlora Çitaku, also participated in the meeting. They were joined by Members of the Kosovo Assembly, heads of institutions in charge of the judiciary, police and anti-corruption, and other stakeholders.
The Structured Dialogue on the Rule of Law held its inaugural meeting on 30 May 2012 in Brussels and its second meeting on 12 February 2013 in Pristina. The Structured Dialogue represents a long term commitment between the EU and Kosovo to strengthen the rule of law; it focuses on the judiciary, the fight against organised crime and the fight against corruption in particular with the aim to support Kosovo address the rule of law challenges at an early stage in the enlargement process.
This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.