"EU House" in northern Mitrovica
27. March 2010. | 09:05
Representatives of the EU have re-emphasised their commitment to Kosovo, including northern Kosovo, whilst on a visit to North Mitrovica. The EU’s Facilitator for the North, Italian Ambassador Michael Gioni, Kjartan Björnsson from the European Commission Liaison Oce and Yves de Kermabon, the Head of EULEX, made their comments at the recently-opened EU house.
Representatives of the EU have re-emphasised their commitment to Kosovo, including northern Kosovo, whilst on a visit to North Mitrovica.
The EU’s Facilitator for the North, Italian Ambassador Michael Gioni, Kjartan Björnsson from the European Commission Liaison Oce and Yves de Kermabon, the Head of EULEX, made their comments at the recently-opened EU house.
Mr Gioni, said all 27 EU Member States were committed to both Kosovo’s and Serbia’s European perspective as part of the Western Balkans region and that included northern Kosovo.
“The EU presences in Kosovo share the same values towards dened objectives in Kosovo: promoting stability, security and prosperity for the benet of all people in Kosovo. One of the concrete achievements of this activity has been to facilitate the deployment of an eective presence of the EU in the north. I think that today’s meeting in these provisional premises of the so-called EU House is a positive step forward in this direction and it gives a concrete sign of the EU presence in Northern Kosovo,” said Mr Gioni.
Mr Björnsson said the European Commission had already been working throughout Kosovo, including the north, for many years.
“We are committed to strenghten our involvement in northern Kosovo and thus contribute to its stabilisation. We want to make the overall EU integration agenda more tangible to local stakeholders and support projects which will improve the quality of life. Just as an example: we plan to build a health center in Zubin Potok, we want to work on the water purication for Leposavic ", he said.
The Head of EULEX, Yves de Kermabon, said EULEX had been present and working in the Northern part of Kosovo since December 2008.
“We have a 24/7 police- and customs presence on gates 1 and 31 that has resulted in a sharp decrease of smuggling. We have reopened the District Court in North and dealt with a number of cases supported by the local administrative sta that were brought back to the court last summer.
Now we need to take the next step forward. There is an urgent need to nd pragmatic solutions to bring back Kosovo-Serb and Kosovo-Albanian judges and prosecutors so that justice can be delivered by a singe and multi-ethnic judiciary.”
The EU, with all its resources, is committed to increase the quality of life for all people in Kosovo.
The EU's objectives for the north of Kosovo are the same as for the whole of Kosovo: to promote good governance, socio-economic development and the strengthening of the rule of law whilst, at the same time, contributing to a stable and multi-ethnic society.
As part of these eorts the EU has decided to increase its presence and activities in northern Kosovo with the establishment of the EU House.