January 21st 2013 02:51:12 PM
That ‘Obscure’ and ‘Finished’ U.S Intervention Happens to be the Most Expensive Aid Mission in EU HistoryPosted by Julia Gorin
There was a bit more to that European Court of Auditors report from November, which I quoted Spiegel magazine on that month (Police Insider: Kosovo Firmly in Grip of Organized Crime; Officials Just Waiting for High-minded Reformers to Leave)
Corruption reigns in Kosovo despite EU millions (EU Observer, Nikolaj Nielsen, Nov. 1)
BRUSSELS - The almost €700 million in EU funds spent in Kosovo between 2007 and 2011 to improve the rule of law and rein in corruption have produced dismal results, an EU auditing body said this week.
“Kosovo’s authorities accord insufficient priority to the rule of law and EU support should be more effective,” said Gijs de Vries, the court member responsible for the report [of an investigation conducted by the Luxembourg-based European Court of Auditors], in a statement.
The court says lack of consensus among EU member states on Kosovo’s independence dispels the incentive for the struggling nation to effectively stamp out corruption.
(Aha! There’s the usual culprit: Kosovo authorities aren’t interested in fighting corruption or having rule of law because Kosovo’s status is still in limbo — the same excuse we got for the Kosovo-wide pogroms in March 2004, and every other ill there: when a state’s future is uncertain, people feel insecure and go wild. Though I could swear the “Kosovars” are always asserting their full, irreversible independence, so they seem pretty secure, no?)
…The court also found member states are staffing Eulex, the EU’s policy body in Kosovo, with unqualified personnel. It said some staff is sent on missions which are too short. [Which is by design.]
Eulex is mandated until June 2014 to support Kosovo towards establishing the rule of law, is staffed with 2,250 people and has an annual operational budget of around €111 million.
It is the EU’s largest foreign mission.
(Still nothing glaring to anyone that some “forgotten”, “obscure” and “finished” war we brought to Europe necessitates the EU’s largest foreign mission. Still no one asks, Just why is Kosovo so important? And so expensive?)
The court’s criticism comes after stinging remarks by Germany’s defence minister Thomas de Maiziere earlier this month.
“We need a new start, a new name, a new structure, new people and a new mandate. In any case, it’s on the wrong track. We need to sort that out at the EU level,” he told Reuters.
He added that Nato is being forced to do Eulex’ job in north Kosovo, where it has more popular support.
…[A] German diplomatic source told this website on Wednesday (31 October)[,] “It’s a very hard task in Kosovo, so you can’t expect Eulex to find a silver bullet.” … EU navel-gazing aside, the Union’s police body has long been viewed with contempt by leftist young Kosovars.
“Eulex out!” are among some of the tags found spray-painted on walls in and around Pristina.
Similar grievances are directed towards the around 6,000 Nato troops stationed in the country to maintain security amid the still simmering tensions with neighbouring Serbia.
So now we’ve narrowed the anti-foreign-meddler segment of Kosovo society to “young leftists.” I’m not sure what to make of that, especially against the backdrop of nationalists who feel the same way. Though one is reminded that it was a consortium of Marxists, fascists, clansmen, nationalists, jihadists and college students who started the separatist movement and helped transform the KLA into more than just a criminal outfit. But for now I’ll just make a mental note of this narrowing-down to “young leftists.”