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Statements in International Organisations

19.01.2006

OSCE Permanent Council No. 588


EU statement in response to the report of the Head of the OSCE Mission on Kosovo, Ambassador Werner Wnendt

 

1. The European Union warmly welcomes Ambassador Wnendt back to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his comprehensive report.

2. Since Ambassador Wnendt’s last appearance at the Permanent Council, Kosovo has entered a new phase. The process to determine the future status of Kosovo is one of the most challenging undertakings of the international community at the present time. Its success is essential not only for providing a clearer perspective for the people of Kosovo but also for the overall stability of the region. The EU has a vital interest in a positive outcome of this process, launched with the appointment of UN Special Envoy Ahtisaari and has the means to contribute to such an outcome.

3. We call on both Pristina and Belgrade to engage in good faith and constructively in the future status process. All communities in Kosovo, including Serbs, should play their part. The EU remains determined to play a full role in the resolution of the Kosovo’s future status, which must enable Belgrade and Pristina to make progress towards the European Union.

4. At the same time, the continued implementation of the Kosovo Standards remains key. It is only through status – with – Standards that the paramount objective of building a functioning and viable Kosovo fully integrated in the region can be achieved. As reflected objectively in the Eide report, the progress in Standards implementation is unfortunately rather limited. In particular, the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government need to make further progress in the fields of minority protection, rule of law, a transparent public administration free from political interference – and in creating a climate conducive to returns. The process of decentralisation remains equally essential.

5. As Ambassador Wnendt has pointed out, implementation of standards will not only be a factor in determining progress of the status process, but it will also be important in the light of the European perspective for the Balkans. It is in Kosovo’s best interest to promote the progressive streamlining and merging of the Kosovo Standards with the European standards tracking mechanism.

6. The EU shares Ambassador Wnendt’s concern about an increasing number of violent incidents in Kosovo. We call on all communities in Kosovo to preserve calm and moderation at this critical juncture. At the same time, we urge Kosovo’s authorities to do all they can to investigate the incidents and bring those responsible to justice.

7. The EU remains committed to building a democratic and multiethnic Kosovo within Europe. The OSCE Mission in Kosovo plays an essential part in supporting this goal. We call on the political leadership, but also on the representatives of the civil society in Kosovo, which has a crucial role to play in this process, to make full use of the assistance which the Mission provides. In this context, the enlarged OMIK field presence is a decisive asset.

8. The EU agrees with Ambassador Wnendt, that the Standards process will have to continue whatever the outcome of the status negotiations. We welcome the OSCE’s active participation in the UNMIK-lead deliberations on Future Arrangements.

9. Finally, Mr. Chairman, we congratulate Ambassador Wnendt and his team, including the field offices, on the progress achieved and wish them all the best for the challenging times ahead.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia [1] and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.

 

[1] Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

 

Date: 26.01.2006