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JOINT PRESS RELEASE: Meeting of the Joint Rule of Law Coordination Board held in Pristina

16 September 2015

Pristina, 16 September 2015 - Minister of Justice, Prof. Dr. Hajredin Kuçi, together with the Head of EULEX Mission in Kosovo, Gabriele Meucci, the Head of the EU Office/EUSR, Samuel Zbogar, Chair of the Kosovo Judicial Council Enver Peci, and the Chair of the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, Alexander Lumezi held a meeting of the Joint Rule of Law Coordination Board. The Director General of the Kosovo Police, Shpend Maxhuni also attended the meeting. In the meeting was approved the Compact Progress Report for the period July 2014 - July 2015.

Board members have appreciated the achievements made in the Compact Progress Report for the Compact Agreement, which demonstrate a measurable progress towards a sustainable, accountable, multi-ethnic and independent justice system.

Minister Kuçi welcomed documented progress in the rule of law in this annual report. "I welcome the assessment of the hard work of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo in the process of meeting the criteria for visa liberalization and strengthening the rule of law through continuous reforms. At the same time, we are committed to working further with the continued support of the European Union in addressing the numerous challenges ahead of us, “said Minister Kuçi.

Whereas Samuel Žbogar, Head of EU Office/EU Special Representative, stated that he supports continuous joint efforts to promote the rule of law in Kosovo. “The Compact Progress Report is an important tool that aids the work that the EU is doing in Kosovo, in particular Kosovo-EU integration processes regarding the rule of law. I note in particular the work that has been done in improving independence of the justice system in Kosovo, notwithstanding the issues that are yet to be addressed. The EU Office/EUSR will continue to support efforts of Kosovo's institutions in this field, including through assistance to capacity building and infrastructure development under IPA programmes. The Report also plays an important role in noting technical progress in fulfilling benchmarks set out in the Kosovo-EU integration process,” stated Žbogar.

EULEX acknowledges the importance of the Compact Progress Report as a step forward to strengthen Kosovo's rule of law in its progress towards sustainable, accountable, multi-ethnic and independent justice system.

The Head of EULEX Mission, Ambassador Gabriele Meucci, commended Kosovo's achievements since the first Compact Report was signed in 2012, stressing that further progress is required to reach the commonly set targets.

"The ambitious goals of this Compact Report are set to ensure that Kosovo's rule of law institutions achieve the necessary capacities.  The completion of the already agreed roadmaps, with endorsed timelines to reach them, remains a priority. EULEX stands ready to support Kosovo in its effort to build an efficient rule of law for the benefit of all Kosovo's citizens", stressed Ambassador Meucci.

The Compact Progress Report, approved today, focuses on the achievements during the period July 2014 - July 2015, and the challenges ahead in the justice system, in terms of police and customs and on the implementation of the agreements in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

During today's meeting of the Joint Rule of Law Coordination Board, among other things, was also discussed the fulfilment of requirements arising from the visa liberalization roadmap, the fulfilment of actions from the agreed roadmaps in the rule of law, the Ministry of Justice's strategic review of the justice sector and the measures taken to strengthen the independence of the justice system and to fight political interference in the rule of law. 

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