EULEX hands over the last copies of civil registry books to Kosovo Authorities

06 March 2014

Civil Registry Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs held the ceremony today to mark the handover of last certified copies of civil registry books, which were transferred to Kosovo as part of the EU facilitated dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade.

Bajram Rexhepi, Minister of Internal Affairs, stressed that an important process has been completed, representing a fundamental step towards the establishment of a relaible Civil Registry in Kosovo.

He thanked the European Commission, EULEX and the Danish Refugee Council for contributing to the successful implementation of this project.

"This is a great achievement. If there is any doubt that individual data has been altered, we can now compare and verify it with the Civil Registry database. Establishment of verified database is in the interest of visa liberalisation process. In addition, this database is vital for the documents my Ministry is currently issuing", Minister Rexhepi said.

The Deputy Head of EULEX Joëlle Vachter pointed out that the certified copies will contribute to building a reliable and sustainable civil registry in Kosovo. Thus, this process will ultimately benefit the rule of law and Kosovo's path towards Europe.

"Reliability of the civil status in Kosovo is a key factor that will be taken into consideration in the visa liberalization process. There is still work to be done and we must all now continue to work together in order to make sure that these certified copies are fully integrated into the Kosovo civil registry and that we continue to strengthen its integrity", said Vachter.

The Head of Cooperation Sector of the EU Office in Kosovo, Christof Stock, said:

"While the importance of the returned books has been stressed by all sides their significance will only fully materialise when the data included will be used in the best manner which will allow completing and correcting the civil status data. Where the books have been returned already, the municipal civil status offices have used the books already to verify citizens' data against the data contained in the books. "