EU: Agreement benefits Priština too

SERBIA, KOSOVO

The EU supports the signing of an agreement on technical cooperation between EULEX and Belgrade, and is now explaining the benefits of the deal to Priština.

EU sources told Beta in Brussels today that this was the thrust of EULEX official Karin Lindahl’s statement, who stressed that the EU had no intention of bypassing Priština when it came to signing a police cooperation protocol between EULEX and Belgrade.

“Effectively, the EU’s intention is to explain in detail to the leadership in Priština what EULEX has in mind. Because, all the signs are that the Kosovo authorities haven’t understood this right, when what’s at stake is tighter monitoring of the border and clamping down on organized crime,“ added the sources.

“EULEX is, without doubt, ready to sign a protocol with the Serbian Interior Ministry. Now, we’re trying to work out how that will happen and persuade the authorities in Priština that it really is in their interests too, given that their position thus far has been anything but favorable,“ stated the sources.

The officials in the EU Council of Ministers reiterate that UNMIK too signed an agreement on police cooperation with the authorities in Belgrade.

It was stated that the legal basis for EULEX’s activities—the adoption by the EU of a Joint Action in February 2008—called for complete cooperation between EULEX and Priština in implementing EULEX decisions.

This also derives from the Kosovo Constitution, the sources from Brussels pointed out.

Asked to comment on media claims in Priština that, under a “certain legal interpretation,“ EULEX’s concept of operations (CONOPS) is not authorized to sign an agreement with Belgrade, the sources retorted that this was “absolutely groundless.“

CONOPS merely identifies guidelines for EULEX’s actions on the ground, while the legal basis and mandate is the Joint Action, which clearly states that the Kosovo transitional authorities must respect EULEX decisions and measures.

EULEX is also fully authorized to sign all agreements that facilitate its operation independent of the Priština authorities.

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