Political & economic relations
The European Union has been an integral part of the international effort to build a new future for Kosovo since 1999.
The European Union - both its Member States and its institutions, notably the European Commission - plays a prominent role in the reconstruction and development of Kosovo. The European Union is by far the single largest donor providing assistance to Kosovo and the South Eastern European region as a whole and is at the forefront of the reconstruction effort.
Kosovo has received more than € 2 billion in EU assistance since 1999. While it initially focused on emergency relief actions and reconstruction, it now concentrates on fostering Kosovo’s development of stable institutions and sustainable economic development and ensuring Kosovo’s European future.
17 EU Member States maintain a representative office in Kosovo and numerous non- governmental organisations from EU member states are active in Kosovo.
The EU has reiterated (most recently at the December 2010 European Council) that Kosovo has a clear European perspective in line with the European perspective of the Western Balkans region. The EU remains committed to playing a leading role in ensuring the stability of Kosovo through a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) mission in the rule of law area, through its Special Representative and also its contribution to the International Civilian Office. The European Commission accompanies Kosovo's European reform efforts and provides recommendations and help; also on achieving the targets that the Council set out in the European Partnership for Kosovo.
On 11 July 2008, the Commission hosted a Donors' Conference for Kosovo in Brussels. At the Conference, the Commission called upon donors (EU member states, non-EU donors, and international financial institutions) to contribute to Kosovo’s socio-economic development and help bridge a funding gap of some €1.4 billion years for the period 2009-2011. The amounts pledged exceeded €1.2 billion, with a total EU contribution (Commission + EU member states) of almost €800 million.
The European Union is present in Kosovo through:
- The European Union Office in Kosovo/European Union Special Representative (EUSR)
- The EU Member State representations (Embassies and Liaison Offices)
Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission Liaison Office jointly with the EUSR mandate became the European Union Office in Kosovo. Before merging into the European Union Office in Kosovo, the European Commission Liaison Office has been functioning since September 2004, and the EUSR since 2008.
The EU Office plays the pivotal role in realising the European agenda in Kosovo with the aim to promote Kosovo's approximation to the European Union. As an integral part of the European External Action Service and the European Commission's representation in Pristina, the Office ensures that a permanent political and technical dialogue is maintained with the Brussels institutions. The EUSR offers advice and support to the Government of Kosovo in the political process; provides overall coordination for the EU presences in Kosovo; and contributes to the development and consolidation of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Kosovo. The EUSR reports to the Council of the European Union , the inter-governmental body representing the 27 EU member states, through the High Representative/Vice President of the European Commission, Baroness Catherine Ashton.
The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) is the largest civilian mission ever launched under the European Security and Defence Policy. The central aim is to assist and support the Kosovo authorities in the rule of law area, specifically in the police, judiciary and customs. EULEX is a technical mission which mentors, monitors and advises whilst retaining a number of limited executive powers. The legal basis of EULEX mission is the Council Joint Action 2008/124/CFSP of 4 February 2008. Head of EULEX mission is Xavier Bout de Marnhac.
For more information visit www.eulex-kosovo.eu