EULEX Mission in Kosovo to Be Extended by Two Years
EU's EULEX mission in Kosovo will be extended by two years, despite resistance by the country's officials.
Representatives of the 28-nation bloc have informed Kosovo's authorities that they will keep working on investigations into large-scale corruption schemes and taking charge of the precarious situation in Northern Kosovo, where tensions often arise between Kosovars and the ethnic Serb majority Dnevnik.bg has reported.
Politicians in Pristina have repeatedly insisted that the EU refrain from exerting competences regarding high-profile trials or affairs of significant national interest.
Local media suggest that Kosovo would have preferred a mission looking more like an advisory body.
EULEX mission, the largest EU mission so far, started in 2008.
It aimed at assisting and supporting Kosovo with the rule of law, providing vital help in the judiciary, police and customs services.
With its executive powers regarding cases of war crimes, corruption and organized crime, it is considered by some regional politicians and experts to be depriving Kosovo from part of its sovereignty.
The EU nevertheless says that Kosovo, which unilaterally announced independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008 an has not been recognized by a number of states including Serbia itself, Russia and some European countries, needs time to strengthen its statehood and take the road to democracy.