Estonia Contributing to International Civil Mission in Kosovo

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The Foreign Ministry is supporting the International Civilian Office (ICO) in Kosovo with one million kroons. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that the goal of the civil mission is to monitor the implementation of Martti Ahtisaari’s plan, which first and foremost means support for the building up of a multi-national society and the protection of cultural heritage in Kosovo.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that Kosovo is still in need of thorough restructuring. “Kosovo must move forward with establishing the principle of rule of law, integrating Kosovar Serbs into society, and decentralisation,” said Foreign Minister Paet. “Kosovo has an elevated need for experts with reform experience,” emphasised Foreign Minister Paet, adding that with the help of the international fund for Kosovo it will be possible to send the necessary experts to Kosovo, who will help with restructuring and implementing reforms.

In 2008 the European Union sent the EULEX (European Rule of Law Mission) to Kosovo, which began to supervise and monitor the activities of Kosovo’s authorities in restructuring the country’s legal system, police and customs services, border guard, and corrections facilities. Estonia contributes six experts to the EULEX Kosovo mission.

The international civil mission has been active in Kosovo since 2008. The ICO is led by Pieter Feith, who is also the European Union’s special representative and the highest political representative of the EU in Kosovo. The civil mission works in close co-operation with the European Union’s special envoy to Kosovo, the European Commission’s local office, and EULEX.

For more detailed descriptions of Estonia’s development co-operation projects from previous years, please visit the Foreign Ministry’s web page at http://www.vm.ee/?q=en/taxonomy/term/55.

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