Tuesday, October 11, 2005

EU to boost its role in Kosovo

Prishtina-Kosovo
Koha Ditore's correspondent from Brussels, Augustin Palokaj writes about EU's involvment in Kosovo.Palokaj writes that the EU institutions are getting ready to step up their role in Kosovo. “Even though EU has repeatedly said it does not want to have UNMIK turn into EUMIK, the union is currently making plans to take over a large part of responsibilities in Kosovo as the mission of UN gradually draws to an end,” writes Palokaj.

The idea that EU gets more competences in Kosovo comes as a result of a consensus
within the international community that Kosovo has a European future and that, even
after status is settled, Kosovo will continue work on implementation of standards that would eventually lead to it joining the EU.

Quoting EU officials in Brussels, Palokaj writes that in contacts between EU and
members of the Contact Group including USA, it has been insisted that European
partners prepare for a greater engagement in Kosovo. “This was also said in a
confidential letter that the U.S. administration sent to EU partners early September,” Koha’s correspondent says.

Officials in Brussels do not conceal the fact that Kosovo is one of the reasons the EU has launched stabilization and association talks with the Union of Serbia and
Montenegro in order to give an incentive to Belgrade to act constructively with regard to the status of Kosovo.

EU has made announcements that it might soon take on a bigger role in the sector of
public safety in Kosovo but made it clear at the same time that it does not intend
taking on a military role in Kosovo. Palokaj reflects that this was also said when EU
took over the military presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina but the EU officials say
that Kosovo is a “more specific issue” than Bosnia and that it needs NATO’s
presence.F.F

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