Kosovo Minister of Justice, Ms Nekibe Kelmendi and EULEX Head of Mission, Mr Yves de Kermabon, at the inauguration of the Justice building in Pristina
The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) is the largest civilian mission ever launched under the CSDP. The central aim is to assist and support the Kosovo authorities in the rule of law area, with a specific focus on the judiciary.
EULEX forms part of a broader effort undertaken by the EU to promote peace and stability in the Western Balkans and to support the Kosovo authorities as they undertake necessary reforms, in line with their and the overall European perspective of the whole Western Balkans region.
The mission is conceived as a joint effort with local authorities, in line with the local ownership principle. This is done through monitoring, mentoring and advising whilst retaining some executive responsibilities in specific areas of competence, such as war crimes, organised crime and corruption, terrorism and serious financial crimes.
Since 1st February 2013 the mission is lead by Ambassador Bernd Borchardt
who succeed Mr Xavier Bout de Marnhac (FR) and has an authorised maximum of 1250 international staff and 1000 local staff. Most of the international staff are police officers, judges, prosecutors and customs officials. The annual budget for 2012/2013 is 111 EUR million.
The current mandate expires on 14 June 2014. However, the mission is foreseen to be terminated when the Kosovo authorities have gained enough experience to guarantee that all members of society benefit from the rule of law.
The mission was launched on the basis of a decision by all 27 EU Member States in February 2008. Its operational phase began in December 2008 and it reached full operational capacity in April 2009.
EULEX has a unified chain of command to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and to EU Member States (Political and Security Committee). It works under the general framework of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244.