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‘Focused and determined’

Day one of the newly-reconfigured EULEX: new structures, new roles, new focus

Friday, 15 June 2012 marks the start of activities of the newly-structured EULEX. The Mission has been downsized and reorganised in the light of its achievements in many areas and the need to enhance its activities in others.

Head of Mission address to EULEX staff

The old three-component structure of the Mission with Justice, Police and Customs has been scrapped. It is replaced by a two-pillar structure: ‘Executive Division’ and ‘Strengthening Division’. This will give greater rationale and focus to the work.

The Mission will concentrate on four principle areas:

  • supporting the wider EU agenda in terms of visa liberalization, the Pristina-Belgrade Dialogue, the Feasibility Study and the rule of law Structured Dialogue led by Brussels
  • enhancing strengthening activities for the long term benefit of Kosovo. There will be closer cooperation with local authorities so that they can take over more and more responsibilities.
  • enhancing rule of law in the north
  • working in joint teams with the local authorities and focusing on some of the most difficult and sensitive criminal cases

“It’s a sign of progress that the Mission is able to do this today,” said the EULEX Head of Mission, Xavier de Marnhac, who will oversee the reconfiguration process during the next few months. “Changing circumstances require a changing mission. The Kosovo authorities, supported and advised by EULEX, have made good progress, especially in the police and customs areas. This progress enables EULEX to downsize and concentrate its energies on the key challenges ahead, above all in the justice sector. The mission is focused and determined to move the agenda forward” he said.

Nearly all regional EULEX bases are closing and mobile teams located in Pristina will be dispatched to the regions when needed. Around 25% of posts have been cut.

The EU High Representative Catherine Ashton offered her full support to the Mission during the official extension of EULEX’s mandate on 5 June when she said “I encourage the Kosovo authorities to make use of the EULEX expertise as the Mission is adapting to changing circumstances and progress already made. In the future more and more responsibility will need to be taken over by the local authorities”