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Press Release

EU commitment to Kosovo

6 February, 2012, Pristina

The new Head of the EUSR/EU Office in Kosovo, Samuel Žbogar, has said that Kosovo has entered the key phase of its relationship with the EU. Speaking on the occasion of the annual EU reception in Pristina, Mr Žbogar, said that the recent visit of the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, and the launch of the visa dialogue were positive developments.

“This is just one manifestation of a positive momentum, on which both the EU and Kosovo need to build. On our side, changes to the EU presence, which have become effective with my appointment, are crucial for deepening relations with Kosovo. The EU presence is now effectively unified. This provides the EU with a single, stronger and clearer voice”, said Žbogar.

The Head of EULEX, Xavier de Marnhac, said that the Mission, as one of the main EU bodies in Kosovo had been working very closely with the EUSR/EU Office, and with the Kosovo Institutions. He emphasized that EULEX would continue to develop and strengthen an independent and multi-ethnic justice system, a multi-ethnic police and customs services.

“We are fully conscious that more has to be done and we are committed to this objective in close partnership with the Kosovo authorities. On EULEX´s behalf, I can guarantee our full commitment. But ultimately, it is of the utmost importance that the Kosovo authorities take their share of responsibility”, said de Marnhac.

Summarizing the key issues for 2012, De Marnhac and Žbogar also highlighted support for the Dialogue, and unconditional and permanent access to the north.