The European Union decided earlier this month to reduce the size of the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) by 25-30 percent, while extending its mandate. In an email interview, Vedran Dzihic, a fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, discussed the future of EULEX.
WPR: What was the original size and scope of EULEX?
Vedran Dzihic: According to the EU Council’s decision of Feb. 4, 2008, EULEX was originally designed to “monitor, mentor and advise” Kosovar institutions on all areas related to the wider rule of law. During the course of the mission, further specific priorities have been identified, including fighting organized crime, corruption, interethnic crime, property-related crime and others. EULEX, which includes police, judicial and customs components, reached full operational strength in spring 2009 with approximately 2,600 staff members, including around 1,600 internationals and 900 locals. Today, EULEX has a staff of approximately 1,700 internationals and 1,200 locals, making it by far the largest civilian mission ever launched by the EU under the Common Security and Defense Policy.