OSCE Permanent Council No. 602
EU Statement in response to the UNSG’s Special Envoy for the future status process for Kosovo, President Martti Ahtisaari
- The European Union warmly welcomes the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo, President Martti Ahtisaari, to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his comprehensive briefing on the ongoing process to determine the future status of Kosovo.
- The European Union strongly supports this process and the work done by President Ahtisaari and his team. The EU has a vital interest in a positive outcome of this process. Its success will be essential not only for providing a clear perspective for the people in Kosovo but also for the overall stability of the region. We therefore once again call on both Pristina and Belgrade to engage in good faith in the status process in order to find realistic solutions to the many difficult issues that need to be addressed and to achieve a negotiated settlement of the status of Kosovo in the course of 2006.
- The EU looks forward to working with the new leadership of Kosovo. The EU encourages the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government to continue to constructively engage in the ongoing status process in order to ensure its rapid progress. At the same time it is essential that Pristina gains concrete and tangible results in implementation of the Standards, especially in the field of minority rights/protection. It is only through status with standards that the paramount objective of building a functioning and viable Kosovo can be achieved. We also call upon Serbia to encourage Kosovo-Serbs to participate in Kosovo’s institutions. They need to be able to shape their future which is in Kosovo. There is no doubt that arrangements for good relations between Belgrade and Pristina must form part of a settlement.
- The EU has noted with satisfaction that the second meeting on decentralisation, which took place in Vienna on 17 March, was held in a positive atmosphere and helped to identify common ground. The EU hopes that the next meeting on 3 April will see further progress and that it will contribute to identifying possible solutions.
- Mr. Chairman, the EU remains committed to building a democratic and multiethnic Kosovo within Europe. We are also convinced that the OSCE Mission in Kosovo plays an important part in supporting this goal and we, the EU, will continue to do so beyond and irrespective of Kosovo’s future status. We value the work done by the Mission through its headquarters in Pristina and its broad field presence, which in our view constitutes a main asset. We welcome the OSCE’s inclusion and active participation in the UNMIK-led deliberations on future arrangements between international organisations present in Kosovo.
- Mr. Chairman, the resolution of Kosovo’s future status must enable both Belgrade and Pristina to make progress towards the European Union. In this vein, we shall continue to closely cooperate with President Ahtisaari and his team in support of his work. We wish him all success in this challenging task.
The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia*, 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 align themselves with this declaration.
*Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process