“Kosovo’s people should take a certain pride in the fact that Kosovo is not afraid to deal with its past”- The Head of the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, in an in-depth one-on-one interview with ABC News

03 December 2020

On 2 December, ABC News aired an in-depth one-on-one interview of the Head of the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, with Linda Karadaku. During the interview, Wigemark walked us through his rich professional journey, his first visit to the Balkans and to Kosovo, his meeting with Ibrahim Rugova, the meaningful work of the Mission, and the many different perceptions about EULEX’s work. 

Commenting on the recent discovery of human remains in Kizevak, Serbia, Wigemark said: “I don't want to boast, but I don't think this site would have been found without EULEX actually”. Karadaku said that Serbia’s National Assembly Speaker, Ivica Dacic, publicly asked the Serbian people not to give out any information of possible locations of grave sites. “I think this is wrong,” said Wigemark, adding: “It is wrong to tell people not to provide information. On the contrary, what is needed is maximum transparency.”  

The Head of EULEX also spoke about the Mission’s support to the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office, setting the record straight about how this entire process works and what is the exact role of EULEX.  

“It is not easy for us, I must say, because people here believe that it is EULEX that is conducting these operations, that we are the ones arresting people, that we arrested Mr. Krasniqi, or President Thaci and so on, or that we are conducting house searches. It is actually the Specialist Prosecutor's Office who has the authority to do that, we don't have the authority to do it”, clarified Wigemark, adding: “When people see vehicles with an EULEX license plate in front of a building, they assume that inside the building it is EULEX’s staff, police etc. This is not the case. We are outside, providing protection together with the Kosovo Police.”  

The EULEX Head also elaborated on how the recent developments affected Kosovo and its people. “I understand it would be difficult for any society and I must say I have a lot of respect for how Kosovo is dealing with this,” noted Wigemark, stressing that Kosovo’s people should “take a certain pride in the fact that Kosovo is not afraid to deal with its past.”

For this and much more, watch the full interview here: