Statement by EU Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative and EULEX on process of selection of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals presidents
25 August 2017
“Following the recent repetition of the voting process for the presidents of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals by the Kosovo Judicial Council, the European Union Office in Kosovo/European Union Special Representative and EULEX have made the following statement:
The Constitutional Court, which annulled the previous selection process, found that the mechanism applied by the Kosovo Judicial Council to nominate a candidate for the position of president of Supreme Court and president of the Court of Appeals did not guarantee sufficiently an equal, merit-based, transparent and open voting process. To address the concerns of the Constitutional Court, the EU together with other partners worked with the Kosovo Judicial Council to advance the selection procedure, and in this regard welcomes the improvements made in the relevant Council regulation.
Having observed the repetition of the voting process, however, the EU regrettably notes that the selection of the presidents of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals was not preceded by a substantive discussion on the candidates' suitability for the position, while the justification of the Councils' selection decisions lacks sufficient reasoning. We stress that our concerns are related solely to the selection process, irrespective of the candidates chosen.
An independent, transparent, accountable and efficient judiciary free from political interference is what Kosovo people need and expect from their leaders. This is in the interest of Kosovo people and a key precondition for Kosovo’s advancement on the European path.
The European Union Office in Kosovo/European Union Special Representative and EULEX will continue to follow selection processes closely and remain committed to investing significant resources to help Kosovo strengthen the rule of law.”