Advancing legislation – Joint Rule of Law Coordination Board meeting

31 May 2011

EULEX hosted the 21th meeting of the Joint Rule of Law Coordination Board (JRCB) meeting. The board this time focused its discussions on legislation and was as usual co-chaired by EULEX, the Kosovo government and the European Commission Liaison Office to Kosovo (ECLO).

The group discussed cooperation and the way forward with the draft law on witness protection, the draft criminal code, the preparations for an anti-mafia law and further implementation of the law on asset confiscation.

Head of EULEX Xavier de Marnhac in his introduction remarks at the beginning of the meeting said: “Due to the circumstances we have to work hard, to save time as much as possible and to address key rule of law issues with the perspective of the Commission’s Progress Report that will come out in early fall”, said de Marnhac, adding that the legislation issues discussed need to be solved as soon as possible.

Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice, Hajredin Kuçi, welcomed the new deputy ministers who will now attend the JRCB meetings, praised the Kosovo government, EULEX and ECLO for the work done in the area of the rule of law since the last JRCB took place. Kuci, expressed his readiness to coordinate activities in order to contribute to the Progress Report for Kosovo in September. “We are working together to coordinate the rule of law in order for it to be functional in the whole territory of Kosovo” said Kuçi. He added that the government will support “EULEX’s actions in the north of Mitrovicë/Mitrovica with the aim of creating confidence there.” Kuçi praised the contribution of EULEX and ECLO in activating the Agency for Asset Confiscation.

Khaldoun Sinno, Acting Head of ECLO said that the JRCB is an integral part of the effort to consolidate the rule of law. “During their visits to Kosovo, both EC President Jose Manuel Barroso and HR/VP Catherine Ashton have stressed in their statements that the rule of law reforms are a critical element for Kosovo's path towards the European integration and have underlined their support for EULEX".

The board members also discussed updates on the border management system database as well as the functionality of the courts in northern Kosovo. EULEX presented the plans for an upcoming anti-corruption campaign to support the Kosovo institutions in fighting corruption. The Head of EULEX expressed his confidence that the campaign will be as successfull as the ongoing anti-drug campaign.