Extracts from the press conference by Roy Reeve, Deputy Head of EULEX Kosovo, on the EULEX Report
An unprecedented report into the current performance of Kosovo's rule of law institutions has been carried out by EULEX. The report makes a number of key recommendations including the widespread reform of Kosovo's judiciary. The Kosovo Police (KP) is said in many respects to be an exemplary organization but there are also around thirty proposed recommendations for change. It is also suggested that Kosovo's Customs Service should fully integrate with KP Border and the Public Prosecutor's Office to tackle cross-border crime. This is the most comprehensive report ever conducted into Kosovo's rule of law institutions. It is based on more than 2500 assessments carried out by 400 EULEX monitors and advisors during the past six months. More than 70 far-reaching proposals have been made that will form the focus of EULEX attention in the future.
The report highlights the strengths of the police, judiciary (including the correctional service) and customs, as well as identifying areas for future development and strengthening. In terms of the Kosovo Police (KP), there are a number of recommendations ranging from the need for sustainable staffing for the KP IT/Communications systems, to the need to introduce 'intelligence-led' policing throughout the organization. Most importantly, the Public Prosecutor's Office and KP Crime Pillar must work closely together to reduce the high levels of serious crime, and actively target organized crime groups and corruption.
Compared with Kosovo Police, the criminal justice system and judiciary as a whole are considerably weaker in their ability to uphold an independent and effective prosecution and adjudication of cases. Under the ownership of the local institutions, EULEX will be looking at a range of measures to bring about change: from the need to significantly increase the number of females and non-majority community representatives throughout the judiciary, to the need to ensure its de jure independence.
There is a daunting array of reform effort required and at the heart of the EULEX concern is the need to enhance public confidence by reducing the vulnerability of judges and prosecutors to pressure and corruption. Kosovo's Customs Service will also be the subject of reform measures. From introducing sound and effective oversight and accountability measures, to the further steps required to achieve Integrated Border Management. Perhaps most importantly the Customs Service must fully integrate with KP Border and a more proactive Public Prosecutor's Office, to tackle Kosovo's cross-border crime in all its forms. SHOTLIST