21 June 2016
Following the Councils decision to extend the mandate of the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo until 14 June 2018, and exchange of letters between President Hashim Thaci and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, the EULEX Mission in partnership with Kosovo authorities, will continue gradual transfer of its activities to local institutions and other EU actors.
EULEX Kosovo will assist Kosovo, judicial authorities and law enforcement agencies in their progress towards sustainability and accountability and in further developing and strengthening an independent multi-ethnic justice system and multi-ethnic police and custom service, ensuring that these institutions are free from political interference and adhering to internationally recognised standards and European best practices.
The Mission in full co-operation with the European Commission Assistance Programmes will implement its mandate through monitoring, mentoring and advising, while retaining certain executive responsibilities. In order to facilitate continued and sustainable progress by the local authorities, including judicial authorities and police services, the Mission will provide monitoring, mentoring and advice at headquarters and senior management level of relevant Rule of Law institutions to strengthen the chain of criminal justice, with the emphasis on fighting political interference and monitoring of sensitive cases.
Through its executive function the Mission will support the adjudication of constitutional and civil justice, as well as prosecution and adjudication of selected criminal cases. At the same time, EULEX cases will be continually assessed with a view of requalifying these cases as joint cases, engaging further Kosovo judicial, prosecutorial and investigating authorities in order to further build Kosovo capacities in these areas.
As a matter of principle, all criminal investigations and new criminal trials will be conducted by Kosovo authorities, with judicial panels composed of Kosovo judges. Only in extraordinary circumstances a case can be assigned to a EULEX Prosecutor or a panel be composed of a majority of EULEX judges.
EULEX judges and prosecutors will continue to be embedded in Kosovo Institutions and serve in accordance to Kosovo Law.
The Mission will also, in close cooperation with the EUSR in Kosovo, provide support to the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue to assist in the implementation of remaining dialogue agreements in the sphere of rule of law.
EULEX Kosovo, launched in 2008, assists and supports the Kosovo authorities in the rule of law area, specifically concerning police, judiciary and customs.