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Estonia Supports Activities of International Civil Mission in Kosovo


No. 334-E

The Foreign Ministry is supporting the International Civilian Office (ICO) in Kosovo with 1.5 million kroons (95 870 EUR). Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that the goal of the civil mission is to monitor the implementation of Martti Ahtisaari’s plan by the government of Kosovo and co-ordinate the international community’s activities in the country. “The international civil mission supports the construction of Kosovo’s society and the protection of cultural heritage in Kosovo,” said Paet.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that in order to develop the nation, Kosovo needs to move forward with establishing the principles of rule of law, integrating Kosovo’s Serbian community, and decentralising. “The ICO has managed to do a lot in this area. For example, the civil mission has supported the creation of many Kosovan state institutions and helped to mark off the southern border of Kosovo. They have also been able to create contacts with Kosovo’s Serbian population and help decentralise the administration of Kosovo’s government,” he noted.

The foreign minister said that the activity of the civil mission includes support for Kosovo’s economic development, within the framework of which co-operation has been done with the IMF. “With the help of the ICO, it is also possible to send the necessary experts to Kosovo to help with reorganising and carrying out reforms,” said Paet.

The International Civilian Office has been working in Kosovo since 2008. The ICO is led by Pieter Feith, who is also the European Union Special Representative (the EU’s highest political representative) in Kosovo. The ICO consults for the Kosovan government and community leaders and works in close co-operation with the European Union special envoy to Kosovo, the local office of the European Commission, and the EU rule of law mission (EULEX Kosovo).

The European Union rule of law mission EULEX Kosovo also started up in 2008. The mission has the goal of monitoring the situation advising Kosovan authorities in organising the legal system, police and customs services, border guard, and detention facilities. Estonia has six experts participating in EULEX.

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