Wester Balkans - Center on International Cooperation

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Wester Balkans - Center on International Cooperation

ong>Westerong>n ong>Balkansong> | 69OSCE Mission in Kosovo (OMIK)Authorization and 1 July 1999Start Date(PC.DEC/305)Head of Mission Ambassador Werner Almhofer(Austria)Budget$30.3 million(1 January 2010-31 December 2010)Strength as of International Staff: 1661 August 2010 Local Staff: 485For detailed mission information see p. 228EUSR in Kosovo/International Civilian Office(ICO)Authorization and 4 February 2008Start Date(2008/123/CFSP)Head of Mission Pieter Feith (Netherlands)BudgetEUSR: $2.2 million(1 March 2010-31 August 2010)parliamentary and municipal affairs – although aquirk in the initial planning phase meant that it alsoset up Kosovo’s police school. The EU provided theeconomic pillar of UNMIK, but had passed on mostof its functions to Kosovo’s authorities by 2008.In 2007, UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari laidout proposals for “supervised independence” forKosovo, involving the UN’s withdrawal but continuingroles for the OSCE and EU (NATOwould also maintain a peacekeeping function).The EU planned to take over policing and justiceduties from UNMIK while an InternationalCivilian Office (ICO) would take responsibilityfor political support to the government. Ahtisaarirecommended that the International CivilianRepresentative (ICR) heading ICO should doubleas EUSR. The OSCE would “assist in themonitoring” of the settlement.This carefully-crafted plan foundered onSerbia’s refusal to countenance Kosovo’s independenceas well as the lack of consensus in the SecurityCouncil on the issue. Kosovo declared itself independentin February 2008, sparking short-lived butsignificant violence in the Serb-majority northernregion. UNMIK and OMiK announced that theywould operate on a “status neutral” basis accordingto their pre-existing mandate.While ICO planners had been based in Pristinabefore February 2008, and had already been workingclosely with Kosovo’s government, they couldhardly adopt a neutral posture as their designatedpurpose was to help build up an independent state.ICO thus proceeded on the basis of the AhtisaariPlan. This complicated the position of the ICR/EUSR Pieter Feith, as a minority of EU membersrefused to recognize Kosovo. 4Through much of 2008, the elements of theinternational presence in Kosovo appeared adrift.UNMIK focused on finding a modus vivendithat would let the EU deploy its rule of law mission(EULEX). The OSCE angered the Kosovarauthorities by publishing a critical study of theadministration of justice since the declaration ofindependence. ICO set up an office in Serb-majoritynorth Kosovo, but was pressured to leave.In late 2008, the combined efforts of the EUand UN resulted in a deal by which the EU deployedits EULEX mission on a “status neutral” basis –UNMIK shrank rapidly, moving its headquarters toa logistics base on the edge of Pristina. Since then,the various international missions in Kosovo havemaintained differing views on its status.While UNMIK keeps officials in north Kosovoworking with Serb communities, its duties are nowlargely political. UN officials have, for example,accompanied Kosovo’s representatives to regionalforums from which they would otherwise be barred.Kosovo’s leaders chafed at this. In March 2010,Prime Minister Hashim Thaci attended an informalEU-ong>Balkansong> summit in Slovenia – Serbia refusedto participate because Kosovo was represented as astate rather than a UN protectorate. In June, bothsides attended an EU summit in Sarajevo, but thiswas organized so as to minimize the status issue. 5The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Lamberto Zannier, continues to speak outon ethnic tensions in Kosovo and maintain linkswith the Kosovo Serbs. The UN Office in Belgrade(UNOB), a satellite of UNMIK, facilitates thesecontacts, although the US and EU members preferto discuss Kosovo directly with the Serbs.The primary international interlocutor withKosovo’s government is now the ICR/EUSR.ICO’s initial list of priorities focused on helping thegovernment build institutions – such as the constitutionalcourt and a diplomatic service – that hadnot existed under UNMIK. Following the Ahtisaari

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