06 April 2022
The Reserve Formed Police Unit (FPU) of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) performed today the European Gendarmerie Force (EUROGENDFOR) flag ceremony, during which the EUROGENDFOR Commander, Colonel Paulo Jorge Macedo Gonçalves, handed over the EUROGENDFOR’s flag to the Commander of the EULEX Reserve FPU, Major Pedro Miguel Raposo.
The ceremony was hosted by the Head of EULEX, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, and it was held at the EULEX’s Support Compound in Fushë Kosovë/Kosovo Polje, in the presence of the Deputy General Director for Resources of the Kosovo Police, Dejan Jankovic, the KFOR's Commander, Major General Ferenc Kajári, the Chief of the French Gendarmerie Command for External Missions, Brigadier-General Francis Paccagnini, and the ambassadors of France, Italy and the Netherlands.
The Head of EULEX said: “It is a pleasure and honor to host this ceremony for the deployment of the Reserve Formed Police Unit provided to EULEX by the European Gendarmerie Force. This deployment proves the importance of the European Gendarmerie Force as a multinational and rapidly deployable police force complementing the European Union’s Common Security Defence Policy’s missions in their role in international crisis management.”
“This is the first time that we requested reserve forces to support our FPU in its second security respondent role, which is part of the quite unique three-tier security responder system in Kosovo”, Wigemark added.
“I express my appreciation for the long-lasting cooperation with our colleagues from the Kosovo Police and from KFOR as first and third security responders,” he said, commending in particular the work of the Kosovo Police for the smooth crossing of thousands of Kosovo Serbs through the common crossing points between Kosovo and Serbia on Sunday.
The Head of EULEX stressed that the Mission is here on behalf of European Union and of its Member States to provide an additional security blanket and reassure its Kosovo partners that the EU has every interest in a stable and peaceful Kosovo at a time when the security in Europe is challenged by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The EUROGENDFOR Commander thanked EULEX pointing out how today’s ceremony was: “A clear sign of trust and recognition for the EUROGENDFOR contribution to the largest civilian mission under the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy”.
Colonel Gonçalves furthermore highlighted how: “The EUROGENFOR is designed to perform the full spectrum of police tasks within the scope of crisis management, and to contribute to the protection of population, the respect of human rights and the establishment of the rule of law.”
The gendarmes of the EULEX Reserve Formed Police Unit were deployed to Kosovo in March to reinforce the capacity of the existing EULEX Formed Police Unit (FPU).
Portugal, France and Italy are contributing gendarmes to the Reserve Formed Police Unit.
The Reserve Formed Police Unit is deployed as a response to the Mission’s need to have additional forces on the ground and better support its Kosovo counterparts, if requested and if necessary.
The deployment of the Reserve Formed Police Unit’s gendarmes, provided by EUROGENDFOR, shows the determination of EULEX to continue to support the stability of Kosovo and contribute to the security of women, men, girls and boys from all communities in Kosovo.