The European Union has issued a fresh warning on Friday against Kosovo Parliament initiative to abrogate the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecution Office, established to try alleged crimes committed by the KLA during and after the war. In a joint statement of the Head of EU Office and heads of EU missions in Kosovo, the EU officials warn that any attempt to repeal or amend the mandate of the Specialist Chambers would jeopardize the joint EU-Kosovo work on the rule of law, and will adversely impact Kosovo relations with the EU.
On 22 December 2017, 43 Kosovo MPs took the initiative to abrogate the law on the Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office. This initiative, which is still pending before the Kosovo Parliament, is of extreme concern to the EU and its Member States, according to a press release distributed to media on Friday by the EU Office in Kosovo. “In 2014 Kosovo committed itself with the EU to the establishment of the Specialist Chambers. This was an important step to demonstrate Kosovo's commitment to rule of law. As a result, the EU welcomed the establishment of the Specialist Chambers by the Kosovo Parliament in 2015,” it is stated in the press release.
“Any attempt to repeal or amend the mandate of the Specialist Chambers seriously undermines such a commitment and would jeopardize the joint EU-Kosovo work on the rule of law done in recent years. This would adversely impact Kosovo relations with the EU,” according to the press release. The EU urges the originators of the Parliament initiative to withdraw it and welcomed recent public statements by political leaders in support of honouring Kosovo's obligations. “The EU commends media and civil society for raising their voice against this harmful initiative,” it is stated in the press release.
The EU strongly supports Kosovo's progress on its European integration. “Kosovo's progress towards EU integration, including genuine Kosovo's efforts aimed at guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and reconciliation today needs more support than ever. The Kosovo leadership needs to keep Kosovo firmly anchored in the European agenda that the Western Balkans region shares, in accordance with the wishes and expectations of the Kosovo people,” it is concluded in a joint press release of the EU missions in Kosovo. /Gazeta Express/