Fact finding mission in Kosovo organized by FEPS with the support of the European Forum

Besides research and seminars, two fact-finding missions are also included in the Copenhagen revisited project. The first fact-finding took place in Kosovo on 19-22 September 2011. A small team of representatives from FEPS and the European Forum met politicians from local and national level, representatives of EULEX and ICO, NGOs and academics both in Pristina and Mitrovica.

The meetings focused on the perception of EU in Kosovo in general and the attitudes towards the EU enlargement process. Although an overriding majority of the citizens are in favor of the aim of joining the EU on a longer term, it seems that this positive attitude has started to decline recently. This has much to do with the structural problems of the EULEX, which prevents this mission to give a fully adequate response to the issues on rule of law. There was unanimity in stating that the first key issue to be solved is the status of the Northern part of Kosovo. This would be a huge step in finding a solution also for all the other issues, like fighting organized crime and corruption, organizing transparent elections and creating an independent, professional public administration. Currently, with relation to this topic, the EU is seen rather a judge, than a facilitator.

The full report on the fact finding mission will be available soon, including further details of the issues mentioned above. The conclusions will form an integral part of the publication on the EU enlargement process and its perception in South Eastern Europe due to be presented in May 2012.