Joint statement by 11 civil society organisations in Kosovo including Transparency International chapter Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI)
Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF), FOL Movement, Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS), Syri I Vizionit (SiV), Kosovo Foundation for Open Society, Ec Ma Ndryshe, KIPRED Institute, Prishtina Institute for Political Studies (PIPS), Centre for Contemporary Art STACIONI, Balkans Policy Research Group (BPRG), Kosovar Stability Initiative (IKS), Kosovar Centre for Security Studies (KCSS), Riinvest Institute, Community Building Mitrovica (CBM) and Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI).
We, the above-mentioned civil society organisations, express our deep concern regarding the recent developments in the European Union Rule of Law Mission – EU-LEX, following the allegations and counter allegations for the involvement of the officials of this mission in corrupt practices.
At the begining of this mission in 2008, we expected that this mission would be an important contributor for a functional justice and service to citizens.
Because of this potential, civil society in different manners supported this mission, but at the same time asked for results from its work.
Trust in the work of EU-LEX is significantly diminished recently, as a result of insufficient performance in fighting organised crime and corruption, especially in high levels.
The corruption allegations published in recent days are a tremendous blow to the public trust and reputation of this mission, but also of the Kosovo justice system.
With such lack of trust and credibility, EU-LEX and the whole national justice system will find it very difficult to convince the citizens of Kosovo that they are working for the rule of law.
Further, we are deeply concerned regarding reports of pressure exerted by EU-LEX officials against reports of journalists who published these corruption allegations.
If these reports are proved true, this would present a gross violation of media freedom, a violation unacceptable for a mission that supports Kosovo on the path towards European Union membership, whose mission is to work for the rule of law in Kosovo.
The return of public trust and credibility, as a precondition for the proper functioning of the EU-LEX Mission, can be done only when all these allegations and reports are immediately investigated in an independent manner, and appropriate measures are taken against all those who have committed violations.
For this reason, we request from EU-LEX Mission undertake as soon as possible internal investigations regarding corruption allegations and pressure against journalists. In addition, the European Union should undertake necessary steps to conduct independent investigations, and depending on the results of investigations, to take necessary measures.
Furthermore, the European Parliament should hold accountable the responsible authorities for EU-LEX in Pristina and Brussels and discuss the best course of fulfilling the goals of EU-LEX during the ongoing period.
The citizens of Kosovo and civil society organisations are still very interested that the EU-LEX mandate in fighting organised crime and corruption is implemented.
However, this can only be done if EU-LEX deals with its internal allegations and has the necessary credibility to deal with cases that are in its mandate.
For any press enquiries please contact
Ismet KRYEZIU - Executive Director
Kosova Democratic Institute (KDI)
Telephone: +381 (0) 38 248 038