Interview of the EULEX Head of Mission with A2 CNN

21 February

On 21 February 2024, the Head of the European Union Rule of Law in Kosovo (EULEX), Giovanni Pietro Barbano, gave an interview with the CNN-affiliated network A2.

Commenting on the security situation in northern Kosovo, Barbano confirmed that: “The current situation in northern Kosovo, and in Kosovo in general, is quiet but still fragile. Unfortunately, we have seen that this situation may deteriorate very easily, as it unfortunately happened in September with the attack in Banjska/Banjskë, where the Kosovo Police Sergeant Afrim Bunjaku lost his life.”

When asked about investigations related to the events in Banjska/Banjskë, Barbano clarified that: “EULEX has not the mandate to carry out investigations. Since 2018, EULEX’s mandate does not include, does not foresee, any executive mandate. So, only the Kosovo institutions bear the full responsibility to carry out investigations. EULEX is monitoring that the investigations carried out by the Kosovo authorities are carried out in adherence with the Criminal Procedure Code, and in line with the best international standards, and European best practices.”

“In performing this monitoring, EULEX also grants that human rights are fully respected along the entire chain of justice, including activities carried out by the police but also activities performed by the prosecutors, judges, and in cases of detention by the Kosovo Correctional System,” pointed out Barbano.

When asked about the issue of extradition of suspects, Barbano explained that: “EULEX is responsible for police cooperation, international police cooperation, facilitating the exchange of information between the Kosovo Police and international police services including the Serbian Ministry of Interior. When it comes to extradition, this is judicial international collaboration, which is not a part of our mandate.”

The EULEX’s Head also explained that the resignations of Kosovo Serb police officers, prosecutors, judges, and other staff have provoked a vacuum in the rule of law institutions in northern Kosovo. “This vacuum has been partially filled by the police, and EULEX has taken a very proactive role in conducting reconnaissance patrols to enable situational awareness, and to ensure the population of international presence on the field,” commented Barbano, adding that the Mission is monitoring the activities carried out by the Kosovo Police through its senior police advisors and advisors, who closely cooperate with the Kosovo Police.

With regard to the role of the Mission as Kosovo’s second security responder, Barbano confirmed that: “EULEX stands ready as a second security responder for any possible request in providing public order and security.”

Watch the full interview (in Albanian Language) at: