Statement of EULEX

06 March

Following unjustified criticisms voiced by Srpska Lista on Monday 4th March against the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), we would like to clarify the following:

EULEX acts on the basis of a clear and well-defined Mandate approved by the EU Members States and periodically renewed on a two-year basis. EULEX’s work is therefore subject to regular review by Member States. Our current mandate is based on Council Decision 2023/1095.

EULEX had an executive mandate only from December 2008 to June 2018, which included the authority to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate war crimes committed in Kosovo. During this period, EULEX conducted multiple investigations and trials against individuals of all ethnicities suspected of having committed war crimes.

In April 2014, in accordance with Kosovo law, EULEX’s exclusive competence to deal with such criminal offences was restricted to mostly ongoing cases. This means that from that moment onward, the Kosovo prosecutors and judges also became responsible for the prosecution and adjudication of any new cases related to war crimes. Following the end of the Mission’s executive mandate in the criminal justice system in June 2018, the Mission was engaged in the handover of case files in its possession to the Kosovo authorities - including police, prosecutorial and judicial case files. This handover process was concluded by December 2018.

In line with its current mandate, the Mission is conducting a robust systemic and thematic monitoring of selected cases – including war crimes - throughout the entire chain of the criminal justice system, on police, prosecutorial and judicial, as well as aspects of the civil justice system with the aim of assessing compliance of Kosovo institutions with their human rights obligations.

If through these monitoring activities, serious shortcomings are identified, the Mission addresses these with the relevant, responsible authorities. Moreover, findings and recommendations of EULEX justice monitoring are included in regular and ad hoc public reports and discussed with relevant institutions at periodic intervals.

As a Mission dedicated to the advancement of the rule of law, EULEX fully respects the independence of judicial authorities and the principle of non-interference while conducting its monitoring activities.