25 June 2010
EULEX, together with the European Commission Liaison Office and the EU Facilitator for the north, Ambassador Giffoni, have begun an extensive outreach campaign to the communities in northern Kosovo, with information and activities related to the European Union’s aims and objectives for the north.
The highlights of the first phase of the campaign were media appearances by Michael Giffoni, the Italian Ambassador and EU envoy for the north, the distribution of information material in the streets of Mitrovica north, Open Days at the EU House and the EU Info Point in Mitrovica and a football match between a team from EULEX Police and the Kosovo Police Mitrovica North Station.
Last Saturday, EULEX staff, supported by both the British and the French Ambassadors, Andrew Sparkes and Jean-Francois Fitou, distributed leaflets and fact sheets on the EU and EULEX in north Mitrovica. It was a good opportunity to give EULEX and the EU a face in the north, and engage in dialogue with people to answer questions and clarify some misunderstandings still prevailing on the role and function of the EU in Kosovo.
On Wednesday, the EULEX Head of Mission, Yves de Kermabon, visited the EU House and the EU Info Point during an Open Day to which members of the public and media were invited. Kjartan Bjornsson, the Head of Operations at the EC Liaison Office, welcomed visitors at the EU Info Point to explain some of the projects the European Commission is engaged in in the north. Ambassador Giffoni met with NGO
representatives in the EU House, where there were some fruitful conversations about future co-operation between the EU and the civil society in the north.
“The EU is committed to the north of Kosovo, as it is to the rest of Kosovo. We are here to promote EU standards and values and make a real, practical difference for all the people from all communities,” said Yves de Kermabon.
In the afternoon of the same day, a team from the EULEX Police in Mitrovica played against the Kosovo Police in a football friendly on the sports field of the Technical School. After the dreadful weather in the morning, the sky cleared and the sun came out for the game whose referee came from the Danish KFOR contingent. Kosovo Police narrowly won 4-3. It was not exactly World Cup 2010 but a local TV station covered the event.