PACE to intensify and expand dialogue with the Assembly of Kosovo*

Strasbourg, 22.01.2013 – In a resolution adopted today, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) underlined the need for the Council of Europe to maintain “direct working contacts with the Kosovo authorities, at all levels”, in order to ensure the smooth implementation of Council of Europe co-operation activities which respect status neutrality. It also resolved to “intensify and expand its own dialogue with representatives of the political forces elected to the Assembly of Kosovo” and invited its Bureau to define the modalities.

The Assembly regretted that progress in improving the rule of law in Kosovo has been slow, particularly with regard to the fight against organised crime and corruption, and called on the Kosovo authorities, as well as the EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) “to continue strengthening the rule of law and the legal, institutional and policy framework for combating corruption.”

In line with the proposals by the rapporteur on the matter, Björn von Sydow (Sweden, SOC), the PACE also urged the authorities in Pristina and Belgrade to co-operate with the EULEX War Crimes and Organised Crime Investigation Units, as well as with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and with the EU Special Investigative Task Force (SITF).

The Assembly will continue closely to follow developments in the areas of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Kosovo, as well as the relevant Council of Europe activities.

*Any references to Kosovo in this text, whether to the territory, institutions or population, shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.