Report on corruption claims within EU mission in Kosovo

KosovoLaw professor Jean Paul Jacque, appointed by High Representative Mogherini to investigate claims of corruption within the EU mission in Kosovo, has presented his findings.

In October 2014, Kosovar media published the story that two senior staffers from the EULEX mission had allegedly accepted bribes in return for a drop of certain charges for a prisoner.

Afterwards, a British prosecutor came out as a whistle-blower, and accused the Mission of a cover-up after she uncovered sensitive information found on tapped telephone conversations in 2012. This fuelled speculation of corruption within EULEX, an unfortunate allegation for an organization specifically designed to combat corruption within Kosovo.

After an investigation lasting four months, professor Jean Paul Jacque concluded that allegations of a cover up seem to have been unfounded. However, according to him, an internal investigation should have been opened at the outset.

The report, whilst being careful not to include any details concerning on-going judicial proceedings, found that most of the issues raised seemed to have spawned from misunderstandings, and administrative and structural limitations, rather than deliberate errors.

EULEX is the EU’s largest civilian mission. It was launched in 2008 in order to strengthen the rule of law in Kosovo, months after it broke away from Serbia. Currently it has some 1,600 members. This EU Mission deals with sensitive cases of organized crime, corruption and war crimes considered too complex or politically sensitive to be handled by local prosecutors and judges.

The findings remain very careful through its phrasing. However, professor Jacque did provide some advice on the future of the EU Mission in Kosovo: “The continued presence of EULEX is only feasible if comprehensive reforms are made to improve its effectiveness and thus it credibility. There is no point staying just to keep doing the same thing… Its credibility has been damaged to the point that its actions will henceforth often be tainted with suspicion and every decision to convict or not to convict will risk being criticized on the basis of possible corruption.”

Kosovo is currently ranked 105th of 175 countries in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions index. This Index measures not the amount of corruption within a state, but the amount of corruption perceived by its population.

For a look at the full Report, please click here

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Category: A Frontpage, Conflicts, Corruption, Economy, EU, European Commission, European Parliament, Human Rights, Kosovo, Politics, World