In the first exclusive interview series of 2017, we have the greatest honour to hear point of view from Brigadier General Bernd Thran, Deputy Head of EULEX Kosovo about the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo EULEX.
Brigadier General Bernd Thran, Deputy Head of EULEX Kosovo, 2017 © EULEX/ US EU World Affairs
Q: Herr General would you please give us an overview to EULEX mission and its operational pillars.
First of all allow me to thank you for giving me, and the Mission, the opportunity to explain what EULEX has already achieved and will continue to deliver throughout its current mandate. But back to your question: in June 2016 the Member States of the European Union and the Kosovo Government agreed on a new mandate for EULEX, leading to the creation of a new Operational Plan to direct the Mission’s activities until June 2018 when the current mandate expires. The EULEX mandate consists of two operational objectives: monitoring, mentoring and advising, and executive. These are delivered through the Strengthening and Executive Divisions.
In order to strengthen the chain of criminal justice, EULEX continues to provide Monitoring, Mentoring and Advising (MMA) activities at the strategic level to Kosovo’s rule of law institutions. The Mission delivers assistance to the senior management of the Kosovo Judicial Council, Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, Ministry of Justice, Kosovo Police, Civil Registry and Kosovo Correctional Services. In addition, EULEX provides support to the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina by assisting the implementation of remaining dialogue agreements within the sphere of the rule of law.
EULEX will continue to implement the rule of law through our executive objective to ensure that the services are delivered until the progress of local authorities allows complete transition of executive functions. Our judges and prosecutors are embedded in Kosovo institutions and serve in accordance with Kosovo law. The focus is on the support to constitutional and civil justice as well as prosecution and adjudication of selected criminal cases both exclusively and jointly with the Kosovo prosecution authorities.
The new mandate reflects the fact that Kosovo institutions are demonstrating growing confidence and capacity in the rule of law area. As a result, the Kosovo authorities are increasingly able to assume a whole range of rule of law tasks on their own. Our job until the end of the current mandate is to gradually transfer the remaining executive responsibilities over the rule of law area to Kosovo, taking into consideration the capability and potential of our local counterparts.