Kosovo to Extend EU Law Mission’s Mandate

The mandate of the EU’s rule of law mission, EULEX, will be extended before September 10, Kosovo Asssembly Speaker Jakup Krasniqi said.Kosovo’s parliament is to vote this the week on a resolution to prolong the mandate of EULEX, the speaker of parliament said in Pristina.

President Atifete Jahjaga has already exchanged a letter with the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to extend the mandate of the mission. This is expected to be adopted by the Kosovo assembly and considered as a bilateral agreement between Kosovo and the EU.At Monday’s session of parliament, Krasniqi said that the document should be debated before September 10 when in a solemn session parliament will end the era of internationally supervised independence with the adoption of constitutional changes.

“Besides this solemn session, there will be no other points for discussion. Therefore the resolution should arrive [for debate] before September 10,” he said.

The International Steering Group, a group of 25 states that has overseen Kosovo since it declared independence from Serbia in 2008, announced on July 2 that Kosovo would become fully independent in September 2012.

Since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, 90 states, including 22 EU member states, have recognized the country’s statehood.

Two opposition parties the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, and the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, AAK, have already pledged to support the extension of EULEX’s mandate when the resolution is sent for adoption in the assembly.

But the second biggest opposition party, the Self-Determination Movement, said it will oppose the document, as it sees the EU mission as an organization that doesn’t recognize the full independence of Kosovo.

EULEX plans to withdraw from the country in June 2014, but the transitional period should begin this September with the ending of supervised independence, the government announced last month.

EULEX was launched in June 2008 under the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, to assist and support the Kosovo authorities with the rule of law, namely the judiciary, police and customs services.

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