Dissertation: The European Union State-Building in Kosovo

The European Union State-Building in Kosovo

Challenges and Lessons Learned: An Assessment of EULEX

- in englischer Sprache -

Studien zum Völker- und Europarecht, Band 138

Hamburg 2016, 470 Seiten
ISBN 978-3-8300-8664-2 (Print/eBook)

Demokratisierung, EU Common Foreign and Security Policy, EU Common Security and Defense Policy, EULEX, European Union Conflict Management, Friedensbildung, Kosovo, Peace-Building, State-Building, Western Balkans

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This is the first research ever on an encompassing overview of EU conflict management in Kosovo. It analyses the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) commitment in the judicial field in the youngest Balkan ‘State‘, since its inception up today, by comparing its deeds and missed actions with those of its predecessor (United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo - UNMIK). It includes precious information on the understanding of the challenges third party interventions may encounter in post-conflict endeavours like Kosovo, from outstanding professional figures directly or indirectly involved in the most demanding peace and state-building enterprise at the periphery of Europe.

This work clearly shows that the limits third party interventions may encounter on the ground are only partly contextual (i.e. history, politics, etc.). In fact, there is evidence that these constraints are shaped by external actors themselves because of either institutional or organizational considerations. Apart from preexisting problems, de factoexternal actors‘ contributions further complicate an already much tangled scenario. By claiming so, this research displays how EULEX‘s own setup and conception did prevent the mission from moving away from its predecessor‘s past inactivities, while adding further layers of confusion and raising the question about its added value in Kosovo.

EULEX has so far not achieved its goals: it has been unable to allow for local ownership in the judicial field in the north and to transfer its knowledge and expertise to its local counterpart Kosovo-wide. These findings raise doubts on the effectiveness of the mission on the one hand and on the other hand they should guide the EU CSDP to review the way it deals with the rule of law and multi-ethnicity in settings like Kosovo. Far from pretending to be exhaustive this contribution positions itself in the current debates on state-building enterprises with a view to providing for a comprehensive approach, while focusing on EULEX as a case-study, and leaving room for valuable suggestions and recommendations to both academics, EU experts and practitioners.

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