OSCE (Special) Permanent Council No. 615
EU Response to the Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Ambassador Wnendt
- The European Union warmly welcomes Ambassador Wnendt back to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his comprehensive report. Given ongoing developments in Kosovo and decisions to be eventually taken on the future structure of the mission, the EU considers regular information to this forum to be of high importance.
- The European Union continues to follow events in Kosovo closely. We commend the resolve at high level to actively implement the Standards for Kosovo and, in particular, its enhanced outreach to the minority communities. We reiterate that the continued implementation of Standards remains key to building a functioning and viable Kosovo fully integrated in the region. We call on the PISG at all levels to engage strongly and consistently in the implementation of Standards, in particular the priorities for standards implementation as identified by the Contact Group on 8 June.
- At the same time, we reiterate our call on the Kosovo Serbs to return to the democratic institutions and to fully participate in public life as the best way of promoting their legitimate concerns, and upon the authorities in Belgrade not to obstruct such participation. We are concerned about the decision of three municipal assemblies, following the tragic death of a Kosovo Serb on 1 June, to cut all ties with the PISG. At the same time, we call upon the authorities in Kosovo to thoroughly investigate such incidents and do all they can to bring the responsible to justice.
- The European Union continues to support the work of President Ahtisaari and his team. While we welcome progress achieved on some practical questions in the ongoing direct negotiations on technical issues, we regret that they have not yet allowed for more results. We call once again on both Pristina and Belgrade to engage in good faith and constructively in the status process.
- Mr. Chairman, the European Union strongly supports the activities of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, which contributes to our common goal of creating a democratic and multiethnic Kosovo. The Mission’s special emphasis on pro-active monitoring of human rights and minority protection, its support to democratic institutions at all levels as well as its capacity building activities remain of importance in this respect.
- We agree with Ambassador Wnendt, that a continued OSCE presence in Kosovo in a post-1244 scenario will ensure continuity and Kosovo-related expertise in a future civilian presence. We also share the assessment, that monitoring and institution building will have to remain core tasks of the Mission. In this respect, we are convinced that the Mission’s broad field presence is a particular asset and provides added value.
- As the structures of the future international presence are to be determined, close coordination between all relevant stakeholders remains important. The EU is ready to closely cooperate with the OSCE and others with a view to identifying solutions that will avoid duplication and provide for a maximum benefit of existing resources.
- In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we wish Ambassador Wnendt and his team all the best for the continuation of their work.
The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a Country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate, and the EFTA country Iceland a member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine align themselves with this declaration.”
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.