Saturday, June 4, 2011

EULEX Quickly Losing Face

EULEX continues to have rocky relations with the local population and Kosovo citizens are quickly losing faith in the European Union's largest mission. A report by IPOL shows that the mission has been losing its crediblity with the local population and has dropped to its 2008 levels when the mission first deployed to Kosovo. Inactivity and ignorance were words used to describe the mission as Kosovo celebrated Europe Day on 10 May 2011. Even the head of the International Civilian Office, Peter Feith, has expressed his disappointment in EULEX during an interview with Kosovo paper Zeri.  The former chief of the Economic and Fiscal Affairs Unit in the International Civilian Office (ICO), Andrea Lorenzo Capussela, published an article in the Guardian titled "Eulex in Kosovo: A shining symbol of incompetence" and then was interviewed by Transitions Online about his criticism of the EULEX mission as being overrun with politicial agenda.

Following the EULEX arrests of ten former KLA fighters for war crimes and the non-arrest of former Minister Fatmir Limaj due to diplomatic immunity, the KLA veterans group has urged its members not to recognize the authority of EULEX. The group further has told its members not to respond to requests for interviews and cooperate as EULEX has been mistreating and violating the human rights of the recent detainees.  On the same subject, Fatmir Limaj was summoned to the EULEX prosecutor's office to give a statement as a suspect of war crimes.

EULEX continues to drag its heels in response to the much debated Marty report.  Officials from EULEX met with Marty and his team in late May in efforts to start a preliminary investigation.  Concerns over evidence and the protection of witnesses have lead to delays in transferring information from Marty to EULEX.  Serbia continues to insist that the investigation should happen under the supervision of the United Nations but the European Union has not supported the view.