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Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (16Apr-15Jul15)

United Nations
Security Council


Distr.: General
30 July 2015
Original: English

Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo

I. Introduction and Mission priorities

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1244 (1999), by which the Council decided to establish the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and requested that I report at regular intervals on the implementation of its mandate. It covers the activities of UNMIK, and developments related thereto, from 16 April to 15 July 2015.

2. The priorities of the Mission remain to promote security, stability and respect for human rights in Kosovo and in the region. In furtherance of its goals, UNMIK continues its constructive engagement with Pristina and Belgrade, all communities in Kosovo and regional and international actors. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Kosovo Force (KFOR) continue to perform their roles within the framework of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999). The European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) continues its presence in Kosovo in line with the statement by the President of the Security Council of 26 November 2008 (S/PRST/2008/44) and my report of 24 November 2008 (S/2008/692). The United Nations agencies, funds and programmes work closely with the Mission.

II. Key political developments

3. The main political developments in Kosovo during the reporting period revolved around the European Union-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina at prime ministerial level, important legislative processes and the eventual failure of the Assembly of Kosovo to approve a constitutional amendment for the establishment of a specialist court.

4. Further progress was made in the implementation of the First Agreement of Principles Governing the Normalization of Relations of 19 April 2013, although full implementation of some of its key provisions remained pending.

5. A constitutional amendment aimed at enabling the establishment of a specialist court was submitted to the Legislative Committee of the Kosovo Assembly, and forwarded to the Assembly for adoption on 13 May. The court will try cases investigated by the European Union Special Investigative Task Force in the context of war crimes and organized crime allegations contained in the report of January 2011 of the Special Rapporteur for the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Dick Marty. An Assembly session was first convened on 29 May to take action on the proposed amendment, but was postponed to 19 June, when the government submitted, for information purposes, two related draft laws. At that time, the government informed the Assembly that the draft laws would be formally submitted upon the adoption of the constitutional amendment. On 26 June, the amendment was put to a vote in the Assembly, and received 75 votes in favour, short of the required two -thirds majority of 80 votes (including two thirds of non-majority community representatives); seven members voted against and two abstained. The negative votes and abstentions were cast by members of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, led by the Deputy Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci. Opposition parties took part in the lively debate but chose not to participate in the vote. The Prime Minister, Isa Mustafa, the European Union and representatives of most of the key recognizing countries expressed disappointment at the Kosovo Assembly's failure to adopt the amendment. By the end of the reporting period, uncertainty prevailed on the timing and outcome of a possible further vote, while consultations were continuing to enable a successful repeat vote.

6. Belgrade and Pristina continued their high-level engagement in the European Union-facilitated dialogue, their representatives meeting in Brussels on 21 April, 23 June and 29 June, under the auspices of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The parties discussed mutual progress in implementation, including on the integration of the judiciary and civil protection personnel. Arrangements were also made for the creation of two new administrative boundary line crossing points, as well as for the harmonization of vehicle insurance policies. The discussions also covered extant issues in the areas of telecommunications and energy, and examined possible agreement on the use of the main bridge in Mitrovica for vehicular traffic. Progress was also made towards the establishment of the association/community of Serb-majority municipalities, although differences remained on the legal framework and the range of functions of the community/association. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining efforts to resolving these differences.

7. On 23 April, following political discussions with Kosovo Albanian ruling parties, Kosovo Serb representatives from the Serbian Civic Initiative resumed full participation in the Kosovo government and Assembly after an absence of two months, enabling the governing coalition to proceed with pressing matters, including promoting its extensive legislative programme. After being nominated by the Serbian Civic Initiative on 24 April, Dalibor Jevtic was appointed by Prime Minister Mustafa as the new Minister for Communities and Return.

8. On 9 May, the Serbian and Kosovo Chambers of Commerce met in Gracanice/Gračanica and signed an annex to an existing memorandum of understanding intended to promote increased commercial opportunities, including through an exchange of representatives. Following three further meetings of the two Chambers in June, the respective representatives have been designated and are expected to establish their offices soon in the coming period.

9. Amid other legislative activity, on 25 May, the Assembly of Kosovo adopted a resolution establishing its geographic demarcation with Montenegro. In the resolution the Assembly recognized the delineation as corresponding to the 1974 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's former administrative boundary, in harmony with current Kosovo legislation.

10. On 27 May, the government of Kosovo approved a package of constitutional amendments on the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into the Kosovo Armed Forces. The amendments matched those approved by the preceding government, as well as by the Constitutional Court in 2014.

11. On 30 April, the European Commission adopted the stabilization and association agreement proposal for Kosovo, which now requires approval by the European Council before being forwarded to the European Parliament for endorsement. The government continued discussions with the European Union on visa liberalization and, early in June, submitted its latest report on progress towards meeting the requisite criteria.

12. Significant steps were taken on regional cooperation in socioeconomic development and security. On 21 April, six Prime Ministers of the Western Balkans met in Brussels, in the presence of European Union Commissioners Johannes Hahn and Violeta Bulc, and agreed on steps to improve the regional transport network, a key factor in regional economic growth. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the maintenance of good-neighbourly relations, regional cooperation, and progress towards European integration.

13. On 19 and 20 May, the first regional summit on countering violent extremism was hosted in Tirana, bringing together interior ministers and security officials from the Western Balkans, including the Kosovo Minister of the Interior, Skender Hyseni.

14. On 26 May, the President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, participated in the annual summit of the South-East European Cooperation Process in Tirana, where she highlighted current security challenges, including radicalization and extremism, and called for further regional cooperation in addressing security-related matters.

15. On 27 May, the Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksander Vucic, paid an historic State visit to Albania, the first at this level, and held a range of talks on subjects including joint infrastructure projects and the two countries' respective steps towards European Union integration.

16. Following the major violent incidents involving persons from Kosovo in Kumanovo, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on 9 and 10 May, the Kosovo police on 15 May conducted a search operation at 38 locations in Kosovo, questioning persons and gathering evidence. Prime Minister Mustafa and some other Pristina leaders condemned those who had been involved in the activities leading to the incidents, and called for international support for the investigation. On 25 and 26 May, the Association of War Veterans of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) participated in well -publicized burial ceremonies, mainly in the "Martyrs Cemetery", for those Kosovo residents killed during the Kumanovo incident, some of the participants wearing KLA uniforms and insignia. Some members of the Kosovo Assembly, municipal officials and representatives of some political parties also participated and delivered statements. On 7 July, Kosovo police arrested a citizen of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on an international warrant issued by the latter country for involvement in the May incidents. The suspect, who had previously escaped from police custody in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, was apprehended in Letnicë/Letnica, Viti/Vitina municipality, near the crossing point between Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

III. Northern Kosovo

17. On 24 April, after protracted discussions with Pristina officials, all four Municipal Assemblies adopted revised budgets, which foresaw salaries in the health and education sectors in conformity with Kosovo law, but excluding salaries for those health and education workers who are being paid by Serbia. Municipal bank accounts were unblocked on 15 May. Some municipalities, however, continued to face difficulties executing their budgets, including on account of a lack of familiarity with the government of Kosovo's public finance software, which in turn lacks instructions in the Serbian language. By the end of the reporting period, the mayors of all municipalities had signed the required memoranda of understanding with relevant line ministries to access more than half of the 15 million allocated within the Kosovo budget for capital investment projects. The prolonged delay in finalizing the municipal budgets had some negative impact on negotiations for capital investment funds. The mayors of the four northern municipalities also participated in a series of discussions with relevant Kosovo ministries regarding the European Union-sponsored development fund for northern Kosovo.

18. The mayors of South and North Mitrovica continued to engage in practical cooperation on critical issues affecting their respective constituencies, including construction activities in the ethnically mixed area of Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut, and in the aftermath of security incidents that occurred in Mitrovica from 9 to 13 April. On 30 April, the mayors agreed to refer construction activities to a high-level committee and to introduce a moratorium on construction in the neighbourhood until the committee had considered the matter. On 3 June, a working group of the Interministerial Commission for Return was established by the government of Kosovo in order to address the issue. Despite the moratorium, a Kosovo Albanian attempted to resume construction on 22 June but, after intervention by both mayors, activities were halted and remain suspended. On 14 July, the Working Group for the Return of Displaced Persons in Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut had its first meeting. The Mayor of North Mitrovica's proposal to make the Kosovo police part of the group was unanimously adopted and a three-month timeline to resolve the issue was set.

19. On 10 June, the remains of Isa Boletini, an Albanian historic figure, were reburied in Zvečan/Zveçan municipality. After several months of coordinated preparations, in which the Mother Superior of the Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Sokolica participated, and despite some apprehension in both communities, the event proceeded without incident, thanks largely to the deterrent measures taken by KFOR and other actors.

20. UNMIK continued to facilitate meetings between Serbian-run and Kosovo forestry agencies to address illegal logging and to discuss trade in timber between the northern municipalities and the rest of Kosovo, which is currently hampered by a lack of integration of the forestry sector into Kosovo's institutional framework.

21. As part of its confidence-building projects, UNMIK implemented several initiatives to foster dialogue among the communities in northern Kosovo. These included a project, co-funded by the municipality of South Mitrovica and KFOR, called "Keep Mitrovica rivers clean", in which 45 people, including 6 women, from different communities in North and South Mitrovica came together in May and June to remove over 600 tons of waste from four rivers in the region. The project also raised awareness on environmental issues in local schools and events celebrating Earth Day and Kosovo Cleaning Day.

IV. Security

22. The security situation in Kosovo remained generally stable: a number of largely peaceful anti-government protests were held, and there were several incidents affecting minority communities.

23. On 19 April, Kosovo police proactively intervened to prevent an escalation of scuffles in North Mitrovica between two small groups of Kosovo Albanian and Kosovo Serb juveniles. On 28 April, as a result of a joint Kosovo police-Kosovo Security Force search operation, authorized by KFOR, the body of a Kosovo Albanian juvenile, who had disappeared in North Mitrovica on 10 April, was discovered by Kosovo Security Force divers in the Ibër/Ibar River near Grabovac/Graboc village in Zvečan/Zveçan municipality. On 30 April, the mayors of both North and South Mitrovica attended the funeral held in North Mitrovica. In the evening of 11 June, in North Mitrovica, shots were fired at the premises of the news portal KoSSev, which resulted in material damages.

24. South of the Ibër/Ibar River, several anti-government protests passed off peacefully. On 18 April, opposition parties organized a rally attended by 1,500 people protesting, inter alia, against the establishment of the association/community of Serb-majority municipalities. On 28 May, approximately 3,000 people temporarily blocked the main road in Skénderaj/Srbica in protest at the Drenica verdicts (see para. 38 below). On 29 May and 17 June, some 250 to 300 protesters, including members of the Association of War Veterans of KLA, rallied in Pristina against the establishment of the specialist court. On 20 June, an attempted blockade of the main Pristina-Skopje road near Kaçanik/Kačanik by about 150 members of the Association of War Veterans was forcibly dispersed by the Kosovo police using tear gas. Several protesters were injured, including the Head of the Council for the Protection of the Rights of KLA Fighters.

25. With regard to incidents affecting non-majority communities, the Pejë/Peć region remained the most affected. While in April and May a spike in incidents targeting Kosovo Serb returnees was reported in Klinë/Klina municipality, totalling 13 incidents, in June the highest number of such incidents was recorded in Pejë/Peć municipality, with 17 burglaries. In Klinë/Klina municipality, Kosovo police increased patrols in affected areas and deployed additional police officers from Pristina, including Kosovo Serb officers, to strengthen the capacity of the local police force. However, no similar measures have yet been taken with regard to Pejë/Peć. On 9 and 10 July, three incidents of concern affected the Kosovo Serb community in Gorazhdevc/Goraždevac, Pejë/Peć municipality. Shots were fired at a parked Belgrade-registered vehicle, owned by an internally displaced Kosovo Serb from Gorazhdevc/Goraždevac; a monument dedicated to Kosovo Serb victims of the 1999 conflict and two Kosovo Serb youth killed on 11 August 2003 was damaged; and the word hakmarrja (Albanian for "revenge") was sprayed on the external wall of a house owned by a Kosovo Serb. It remains unclear whether these incidents are related and the perpetrators are still unknown. Representatives of the Kosovo authorities promptly condemned these acts. On 14 July, in Gorazhdevc/Goraždevac village, Pejë/Peć municipality, while approaching the scene of a burglary in progress, a Kosovo police patrol came under fire from an automatic rifle by a known fugitive. One police officer was wounded, and the search for the perpetrator continues.

26. On 31 May, the Kosovo police discovered and defused an explosive device some three kilometres from the ruins of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Mushitishte/Musutiste village, Suharekë/Suva Reka municipality. The incident occurred immediately before a visit to the site by a group of some 100 Kosovo Serb internally displaced persons to mark the feast of the Holy Trinity at the ruins of the monastery. The Deputy Prime Minister, Branimir Stojanovic, and the Minister for Communities and Return also attended the liturgy.

27. The number of incidents affecting religious sites decreased slightly compared with the previous reporting period. A total of 22 incidents affected religious sites, of which nine affected Serbian Orthodox sites, four Islamic sites and four Roman Catholic sites as well as five other cultural heritage sites.

28. On 11 July, three Kosovo Albanians were arrested near Badovc/Badovac reservoir, which supplies water to Pristina, after Kosovo police found in their vehicles masks, military uniforms and black flags bearing inscriptions in Arabic. A Kosovo police counter-terrorism unit secured the lake perimeter and tests were conducted to assess the safety of the water. The Kosovo Institute for Public Health announced that no hazardous substances were detected. Later the same day, two more Kosovo Albanian suspects were arrested in relation to the case. Two of the five suspects had previously been arrested by Kosovo authorities on suspicion of participation in activities in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic. At the time, however, they were released for lack of evidence.

V. Rule of law

29. UNMIK continued to monitor activities and exercise some responsibilities in the area of the rule of law, and maintained technical cooperation with relevant institutions in both Pristina and Belgrade. UNMIK continued to provide document-certification services, both to Kosovo residents and at the request of countries which do not recognize Kosovo, primarily for the certification of civil status and academic and pension documents. A total of 857 such documents were processed from 16 April to 15 July 2015.

30. UNMIK continued to facilitate communications between the Kosovo authorities and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). During the reporting period, UNMIK received 12 requests for international wanted notices while six INTERPOL "red notices" have been issued. UNMIK processed 51 new requests from Kosovo police and the Serbian Ministry of the Interior for verification of documents and assistance in criminal investigations.

31. Progress has been made in implementing the European Union-facilitated agreement on integration of the judiciary. By the deadline of 25 May, 112 candidates, the majority of whom are from former Serbian-sponsored judicial structures, had applied for 48 judge and 25 prosecutor positions. Interviews of candidates are under way. Vacancy announcements for support staff have not yet been published, owing to disagreements between Belgrade and Pristina over the management positions in the Basic Court and the Basic Prosecution Office of Mitrovica as well as over the number of Kosovo Serb support staff to be integrated in southern Kosovo. In addition, the Government of Serbia has yet to adopt legislation regulating the pensions of the staff still employed in its institutions. This has further delayed the resignation of Kosovo Serb judiciary staff and their integration into the Kosovo system.

32. Some progress has also been observed with regard to the integration of civil protection personnel in view of the deadline of 1 September set in the Belgrade-Pristina agreement of 26 March. Under the agreement, Pristina is to integrate 483 of the 751 employees registered in Belgrade's records. The remainder will take early retirement with full pensions. Serbia has yet to adopt the law regulating the status of these civil protection staff. Nevertheless, 80 people have already been integrated into the Kosovo Agency for Emergency Management. In addition, by 11 June, three civil protection observation posts had been removed in the Leposaviq/Leposavic and Zvečan/Zveçan municipalities, as provided for in the agreement. The sole remaining post is located near the northern end of the main bridge in Mitrovica.

33. On 21 April, President Atifete Jahjaga appointed a new Chief State Prosecutor. His stated priorities include combating organized crime, corruption and terrorism. On 19 May, 41 new judges took the oath of office before the President. On 2 July, the Assembly of Kosovo elected a new Ombudsperson for a non-extendable term of five years.

34. On 7 May, the Special Prosecution Office of Kosovo indicted 32 individuals on terrorism charges, specifically allegations of joining, encouraging others to join or recruiting persons to fight in the Syrian Arab Republic, or raising funds for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. On 5 June, the trial against 11 of the 32 defendants started before the Basic Court of Pristina.

35. On 13 May, the Office of the State Prosecutor announced a decision by the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council to establish a Department for War Crimes that will function within the Special Prosecution Office of Kosovo. There is currently only one designated prosecutor in the Department, however.

36. On 14 May, the Kosovo Ministry of Justice, the European Union Office in Kosovo/European Union Special Representative and EULEX co-signed a second Compact on Rule of Law in Kosovo. The document reiterates the joint rule of law objectives of the previous Compact, aimed at addressing issues of accountability, corruption, inter-ethnic crimes, organized crime, gender balance, ethnic inclusion, and development of the Kosovo witness protection system, as well as outstanding property-related claims.

37. During the reporting period, the main trial in the case of Oliver Ivanović and other defendants continued before a panel of EULEX international judges at the Basic Court of Mitrovica. The testimonies of 34 prosecution witnesses have been heard to date, and an additional 25 prosecution witnesses are scheduled to testify. The detention on remand of the defendants, Oliver Ivanović and Dragoljub Delibasic, was extended until 26 August and 4 September 2015, respectively. Oliver Ivanović has been in detention on remand since 28 January 2014.

38. On 27 May, a panel of EULEX international judges at the Basic Court of Mitrovica announced judgements in the Drenica I and II war crimes cases. In the Drenica I case, Sami Lushtaku, current mayor of Skénderaj/Srbica, was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment. Sylejman Selimi was found guilty in both cases and was sentenced to an aggregate punishment of eight years' imprisonment. In total, 11 of the 15 defendants in the two Drenica cases were found guilty.

39. On 12 June, the Appellate Panel of the Special Chamber of the Kosovo Supreme Court, composed of three local judges and two international EULEX judges, issued two split decisions in cases relating to ownership rights concerning land within and outside the special protective zone of the Visoki Decani Monastery. The Appellate Panel upheld appeals filed by two socially owned enterprises, the Privatization Agency of Kosovo and the municipality of Decan/Decane, thus setting aside two previous judgements rendered by the Trial Panel of the Special Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kosovo in December 2012, which were hailed at the time as a sign of a maturing justice system in Kosovo. Those judgements had held that a settlement reached among the parties was binding. However, the Appellate Panel upheld the appeals against the jurisdiction of the Trial Panel to adjudicate the instant case, despite the fact that the Trial Panel had rendered several decisions in similar cases in recent years. The cases were instead sent for retrial in the Decan/Decane Branch of the Basic Court in Pejë/Peć. After almost 15 years of litigation, these decisions further delay the resolution of the cases and have given rise to serious concerns about the capacity of the Kosovo judiciary to handle this and other socially sensitive cases.

40. UNMIK held three coordination meetings with civil society on rule of law issues in northern Kosovo during the reporting period, on 15 April, 21 May and 25 June. A number of rule of law-related activities emerged from those meetings, including assistance to the North Mitrovica Detention Centre to continue with vocational training for inmates, and facilitation of cooperation between civil society and government institutions.

41. As at 25 June, a total of 1,654 persons are listed as missing from the Kosovo conflict, and UNMIK continued to support and encourage progress on the issue. The last session of the Belgrade and Pristina delegations to the Working Group on Missing Persons was held on 18 November 2014. The next session is expected to convene once Pristina appoints a new Chair for its delegation.

42. On 26 June, the Advocacy Centre for Democratic Culture, a non-governmental organization, organized a mock trial under Kosovo law at the Basic Court in North Mitrovica, as one of the UNMIK-funded confidence-building projects. The event involved 20 students majoring in Serbian law at the University of North Mitrovica, and it is hoped it will serve as a critical bridge for eventual Kosovo Serb participation in the Kosovo legal system.

43. On 10 July, the Kosovo Special Prosecutor filed charges of attempted terrorism against a Serbian citizen who was detained on 25 December 2014 in Pristina with explosive materials in his vehicle.

44. On 10 July, a new appeals panel of judges was appointed in the Kleçkë/Klečke case (involving Fatmir Limaj, a leader of the opposition party Initiative for Kosovo and member of the Assembly), consisting of a majority of EULEX international judges. Two high-profile cases continued before the Kosovo courts: the Gračanica 10 case and the "drug kingpin" case (involving Naser Kelmendi). Progress was also noted in cases involving public officials.

VI. Returns and communities

45. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recorded 132 individual voluntary returns to Kosovo in April, May and June, consistent with the downward trends outlined in my previous report. The number included 78 Kosovo Serbs; 3 Kosovo Roma; 10 Kosovo Ashkali; 19 Kosovo Egyptians; 6 Kosovo Bosniaks; 9 Kosovo Goranis; 3 Kosovo Albanians; 3 Kosovo Turks; and one Kosovo Montenegrin. UNHCR estimates the total number of internally displaced persons living in Kosovo to be 17,063 at the end of June 2015. Of these, 543 reside in 32 collective centres in Kosovo.

46. UNMIK continued to monitor developments and issues affecting majority and non-majority communities through field visits and regular exchanges with local stakeholders. In addition to increasing its engagement with central authorities, UNMIK conducted a number of visits to municipalities across Kosovo, and met with representatives of local government, civil society and religious leaders. It discussed the situation of non-majority communities in the respective municipalities as well as the return and reintegration process, how language rights are being implemented, and issues related to education, property and inheritance rights, in particular the property rights of women.

47. Despite efforts to advance voluntary returns to Kosovo, the pace of returns continued to decrease during the reporting period. On 15 May, the government announced the establishment of the Interministerial Commission for Return, which held its first meeting on 3 June. The Commission established a working group on return with a view to strengthening the return process to locations in North and South Mitrovica as well as to Mushitishte/Musutiste village. Early in June, the Minister for Communities and Return outlined the key strategic objectives of his Ministry for the coming year, which included setting a minimum target of returnee families for 2015.

48. Progress towards facilitating returns was also made at the local level, most notably within the framework of the fourth phase of the European Union return and reintegration housing project, which is co-financed by the European Union and the Ministry for Communities and Return, and implemented by the International Organization for Migration. Municipal task forces on return and municipal working groups on return met regularly. By the end of June, construction of 15 houses was completed in Istog/Istok and Shtërpcë/Strpce municipalities and construction had commenced for another 31 houses in the municipalities of Obiliq/Obilic, Istog/Istok, Pejë/Peć, Klinë/Klina, Shtërpcë/Strpce and Gjilan/Gnjilane.

49. With regard to the working group to develop procedures for the temporary validation and recognition of diplomas issued by the University of Mitrovica North, established by the government on 27 April, the group is expected to submit a draft normative act to the government for review and approval within six months. The process seeks to enable holders of such degrees, who are predominantly from non-majority communities, to be employed in public institutions.

50. The sharp increase in irregular migration from Kosovo to Western Europe, outlined in my previous report, continued to subside during this period, while, according to the International Organization for Migration, the number of repatriated migrants increased. At present, these irregular migrants are not eligible to receive assistance in the framework of the reintegration programme.

51. UNMIK implemented 20 confidence -building projects during the fiscal year 2014/15. One project funded and monitored by UNMIK supported the cooperation of law graduates of both Kosovo Albanian and Kosovo Serb communities in the judicial system in Kosovo. Other projects encouraged dialogue and reconciliation, including through the refurbishment of a community centre in Leposavic/Leposaviq. UNMIK also co-financed the organization of the fourth International Interfaith Conference, which discussed ways to employ social media in countering extremism and improving the dialogue among religious and non-religious communities. The Mission also supported activities on forest regeneration, involving Kosovo residents from different communities in the fight against illegal logging. Other projects promoted reconciliation between communities through culture, reuniting different generations of musicians to revive a common musical history, as well as by building ties through a local "rock school" in Mitrovica and supporting the continuation of a Summer Music Academy in Pristina.

VII. Cultural and religious heritage

52. In April, the municipality of Prizren established the Office of the Historic Centre of Prizren, mandated to coordinate activities regarding the promotion, protection and development of the town's historic centre as a cultural heritage site. During the same month, the local Municipal Assembly allocated funding for the Cultural Heritage Council, which monitors and advises on cultural heritage preservation activities in the historic centre.

53. On 8 June, the Implementation Monitoring Council discussed developments regarding the special protective zone around the Pec Patriarchate, including ways to address illegal construction, and a request by the Kosovo Cadastral Agency to obtain detailed maps of such zones in Kosovo. Pursuant to the Council's decision, the unfinished building of the Christ the Saviour cathedral in Pristina, in which homeless persons had taken shelter, was cleaned on 4 and 5 June, and the keys were handed over to representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the municipality of Pristina.

VIII. Human rights

54. The Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, Leilani Farha, visited Kosovo on 26 and 27 May. She met stakeholders in the government, civil society and the international community. The Special Rapporteur focused on the situation of vulnerable and marginalized groups in Kosovo. She welcomed the inclusion of international human rights standards in Kosovo legislation, but expressed concern about the gap between the existing legal framework and its implementation. She observed that women in Kosovo face inequality, particularly in respect of their property rights.

55. On 21 and 22 April, a conference on the implementation of the legal framework on the protection of the rights of women and gender equality was held in Pristina. In her opening remarks, affirming Kosovo's advanced legal framework on these issues, the President of Kosovo concluded that enhanced efforts were required to guarantee the realization of equal rights of women and girls in Kosovo society and announced her intention to work towards the establishment of a fund for the education of girls and women.

56. On 15 May, the National Council for the Survivors of Sexual Violence during the War launched a collection of dresses and skirts, which contributed to the artistic installation Thinking of You, dedicated to survivors of sexual violence related to the conflict. The event, which was attended by the President of Kosovo, marked the beginning of a Kosovo-wide awareness-raising campaign.

57. On 28 May, the Assembly of Kosovo, with assistance from OSCE, adopted a human rights-related legal framework, the so-called "human rights law package", deriving from the European visa liberalization process. The package comprises new laws on gender equality, anti-discrimination and the Ombudsperson institution, as well as amendments to laws related to the composition and functioning of the judiciary. On 22 June, the government of Kosovo launched another key human rights-related document, the draft Kosovo strategy on property rights.

58. On 24 June, the United Nations Kosovo team launched a new joint programme on domestic violence, to be implemented in northern Kosovo by the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The joint programme will focus on strengthening the responsiveness of key municipal services related to domestic violence.

59. The UNMIK Human Rights Advisory Panel, which reviews complaints of human right violations allegedly committed by UNMIK from June 1999 to February 2008, delivered 16 opinions on 20 complaints. In 15 complaints, the Panel found that UNMIK failed to act in accordance with the procedural requirements of article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In 12 complaints, the Panel also found that, by its failure, UNMIK contributed to the distress and mental suffering of the complainants and their families, in violation of article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Since my last report, no progress has been made with regard to the Panel's recommendations relating to the payment of adequate compensation for moral damages suffered as a result of those violations. Furthermore, EULEX informed UNMIK that, owing to current legal constraints, it is unable to implement the Panel's recommendation on continuation of criminal investigations pertaining to cases before the Panel. By the end of June, the Panel had closed 474 cases, while 53 cases are outstanding.

IX. Observations

60. I welcome the continuation of the technical and high-level negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina in the framework of the European Union-facilitated dialogue, in particular the meetings held in June addressing outstanding issues of implementation, including the establishment of the association/community of Serb-majority municipalities, as well as issues related to energy and telecommunications. While the reporting period witnessed a comparatively slower pace of implementation on some of the issues, I am hopeful that the positive difference the dialogue process has already made on the ground will encourage both parties to remain steadfast in their commitments, and to tackle other challenging issues in the coming months.

61. The slow progress by Kosovo institutions during the reporting period towards the establishment of a specialist court is a major source of concern. The Assembly's failure to adopt the requisite constitutional amendment marked a serious setback to Kosovo's commitment to basic principles of justice and accountability. Such delays are regrettable and undermine Kosovo's image and, as importantly, represent lost opportunities to set a good example of commitment to justice and accountability. As an important contribution to reconciliation, I urge all actors to redouble their efforts and rise to the responsibility of serving the fundamental and long-term interests of all residents of Kosovo.

62. I welcome the adoption by the European Commission of the proposal for a stabilization and association agreement with Kosovo, as well as continuing progress towards visa liberalization, as both are important signposts for the institutional reforms that Pristina continues to implement along its European path. I commend the Kosovo authorities, and the new government, for demonstrating an increasing ability to surmount short-term political considerations for the sake of longer-term objectives.

63. I am heartened by the examples of productive cooperation between the local leaders, in particular between the mayors of North and South Mitrovica. This positive and significant trend must be maintained and strengthened. Such initiatives, by concretely improving the daily lives of Kosovo citizens, help to reduce tensions and benefit all communities in Kosovo. UNMIK will continue its outreach and facilitation efforts, including through confidence-building projects, to support reconciliation at the community level.

64. The pace of work to ascertain the fate of those missing from the conflict should not falter. I urge the Kosovo authorities to appoint a new Chair for the Working Group on Missing Persons as soon as possible so that its work can continue apace. I also urge continuing the search for a means to compensate families who have lost their loved ones.

65. Kosovo and the region continue to face transnational challenges, in particular from youth radicalization and violent extremism. I welcome the ongoing efforts undertaken by the Kosovo authorities to address, in a systemic manner, the socioeconomic drivers which may be fuelling the recruitment activities of extremist groups; and also for engaging in law-enforcement measures directly aimed at addressing these challenges.

66. I note the strong condemnation by the Kosovo leadership of the involvement of Kosovo residents in the clashes in Kumanovo on 9 and 10 May, and the subsequent action by Kosovo police to support the ongoing investigation into those events. It is important that such incidents are not allowed to jeopardize the efforts to promote regional reconciliation and cooperation.

67. I express my gratitude to my Special Representative, Farid Zarif, for leading UNMIK with dedication and vision, and to all Mission personnel for their commitment and service. I am also thankful to members of the United Nations system and partners on the ground, including KFOR, EULEX, OSCE and the European Union, for their cooperation and continuing contributions to peace and progress in Kosovo.

Annex I

Report of the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the Secretary-General on the activities of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo
(covering the period from 16 April to 15 July 2015)

1. Summary

The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) continued to undertake monitoring, mentoring and advising activities and to implement its executive functions in line with its mandate in the rule of law area. A number of verdicts were pronounced in organized crime, corruption and war crimes cases, including the announcement of the verdicts against the so-called "Drenica group". The case relates to the torture and mistreatment of civilian Kosovo Albanian detainees at the then Kosovo Liberation Army headquarters in Skénderaj/Srbica municipality, as well as the murder of a Serbian police officer and a Kosovo Albanian civilian. Defendants included high-profile politicians, such as the Kosovo Ambassador to Albania and the Mayor of Skénderaj/Srbica.

After a hiatus of one year, the Joint Rule of Law Coordination Board reconvened and signed the renewed Rule of Law Compact. The Mission provided advice to Kosovo police on the operational planning for several public order events during the reporting period, including several protests of Kosovo Liberation Army war veterans associations, the Vidovdan/St Vitus Day commemoration and the reburial ceremony of Isa Boletini on 10 June. Kosovo police were professional in preparing and executing their operational plans. The Mission advised the Kosovo Border Police to engage in better communication with the Kosovo Force (KFOR), in particular when it comes to the preparation of joint patrols with KFOR along the border/boundary. This is also to allow the Border Police a better understanding of the restrictions with respect to movements along the administrative boundary line deriving from the Military Technical Agreement between NATO and Serbia of 1999.

In northern Kosovo, the security situation remained relatively calm, without significant incidents. EULEX facilitated joint tactical medical training sessions involving Kosovo police quick-response team officers from Mitrovica North and South, fostering regional cooperation. In this respect, the Mission also provided monitoring, mentoring and advice to Kosovo police in their involvement in making the local public security committees fully operational by supporting a joint Mitrovica-wide working group on community policing.

Successful steps were taken in the implementation of European Union-facilitated dialogue agreements with support from EULEX. In the framework of the customs agreement, full implementation of the licensing regime for controlled goods, including medicine, was introduced during the reporting period. Both parties suggested and agreed to the opening of two additional interim crossing points by 2016. In the framework of justice integration, positions for prosecutorial and judges' positions were advertised and candidates interviewed. In the context of civil protection integration, the first 80 applicants were integrated into the Agency for Emergency Management.

2. EULEX activities, April to July 2015

2.1 Executive

War crimes

On 27 May, following two separate year-long trials at Mitrovica Basic Court, the verdicts were pronounced in the war crimes case against the "Drenica group" including high-profile politicians, such as the Kosovo Ambassador to Albania and the Mayor of Skénderaj/Srbica. A panel of EULEX-only judges sentenced one defendant to 12 years' imprisonment for murder, while another defendant was sentenced to an aggregate punishment of eight years' imprisonment for war crimes, including repeated torture of a Kosovo Albanian civilian. Three defendants were sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for war crimes related to the torture and humiliating and degrading treatment of Kosovo Albanian civilians. Meanwhile, six defendants were all sentenced to three years' imprisonment for war crimes related to the maltreatment of detainees. The case, which was prosecuted by EULEX prosecutors from the Kosovo Special Prosecution Office, related to the torture and mistreatment of Kosovo Albanian civilians detained at the then Kosovo Liberation Army headquarters in Likoc/Likovac in the municipality of Skénderaj/Srbica in 1998, as well as to the killing of a Serbian police officer and a civilian. In total, 11 of the 15 defendants were found guilty by the Court. The prosecution acknowledged the courage of victims and witnesses in the case, who had faced significant challenges and intimidation.

Main developments in organized crime and corruption

On 28 April, a panel of one local and two EULEX judges at Prizren Basic Court started a trial against nine defendants charged with various offences, including issuing unlawful judicial decisions and abuse of official position.

Also on 28 April, a panel of one local and two EULEX judges at Ferizaj/Urosevac Basic Court ratified a guilty plea agreement between the Special Prosecution Office and a former Kosovo police sergeant. The defendant was sentenced to an aggregate punishment of five years' imprisonment for, inter alia, abuse of official position, accepting bribes and trading in influence. He will also be disqualified from being a police officer for 20 years and must perform 200 hours of community service. The case involves former police officers and their associates in Ferizaj/Urosevac. Three defendants have already pleaded guilty and the trial is continuing with regard to two other defendants.

On 26 May, a panel of one local and two EULEX judges at Pristina Basic Court found a former Kosovo judge at the then Pejë/Peć District Court guilty of accepting a bribe of 10,000 in order to guarantee termination of detention on remand against a number of defendants. He was sentenced to imprisonment for two years and three months.

On 3 June, a EULEX judge at Pristina Basic Court sentenced a defendant to imprisonment for four years and six months, a fine of 5,000 and sequestration of his vehicle. The trial is continuing against five other defendants charged with organized crime, money-laundering and smuggling of migrants from Kosovo to Hungary, Austria, Germany and Italy. The case is led by a EULEX prosecutor in the Special Prosecution Office. On 12 June, a EULEX judge at Pristina Basic Court confirmed the indictment in the Kosovo Energy Corporation case against seven defendants suspected of various offences, including fraud and abuse of official position or authority. The case is led by a EULEX prosecutor from the Special Prosecution Office.

Other serious crimes cases

On 24 April, a panel of one local and two EULEX judges at Pejë/Peć Basic Court found two defendants guilty of tax evasion. They were sentenced to pay fines of 5,000 and 3,000 respectively as well as to imprisonment of one year and eight months and one year and six months, respectively. The imprisonment will not be executed if the defendants do not commit another criminal offence for three years and if they return to the Tax Authority of Kosovo the approximately 53,000 and 34,000 acquired through the commission of the offence.

On 4 May, a panel of two local judges and one EULEX judge at Prizren Basic Court started the trial against a defendant accused of extortion. The case relates to offences involving seven other defendants who have already stood trial in front of a EULEX-led panel.

Allegations found in the report of the Special Rapporteur for the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe

The Special Investigative Task Force continued its criminal investigation into the allegations contained in the report of January 2011 authored by the Special Rapporteur for the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Dick Marty. Individual criminal liability of those most responsible for the allegations made in the report remains the focus of the work of the Special Investigative Task Force. Work with injured parties, victim advocacy groups and individuals to gather information relevant to the investigation has continued apace. Cooperation with law enforcement and judicial authorities in the region and elsewhere remains satisfactory. Sustained cooperation from all parties remains critical for investigative and operational activities to continue to make progress.

David Schwendiman took up his post as lead prosecutor on 21 May. He has since held a series of introductory meetings with senior officials in European Union institutions and European Union member States. All interlocutors reiterated their support for the Special Investigative Task Force and assured Mr. Schwendiman that the Task Force would continue to receive the necessary resources to complete its investigation in an independent, impartial and professional manner. At his meetings Mr. Schwendiman endorsed Clint Williamson's investigative findings of July 2014, underlined his commitment to take forward the work already done by the Task Force and expressed his hope that the Specialist Chambers and the Specialist Prosecutor's Office will be established without further delay.

Following the judgement by the Kosovo Constitutional Court on 15 April that the draft constitutional amendments with regard to the establishment of the Specialist Chambers, which would adjudicate over the outcome of the investigation by the Special Investigative Task Force, do not breach human rights and freedoms set out in the Constitution, the Assembly Committee on Legislation approved the proposed constitutional amendments. However, on 26 June, after a six-hour long debate, the Assembly of Kosovo failed to reach the required two-thirds majority necessary to adopt the constitutional amendments. Kosovo authorities reiterated their commitment to proceed with the establishment of the Specialist Chambers and to revert to the Assembly.

Department of Forensic Medicine

On 16 April, EULEX experts at the Department of Forensic Medicine met the families of 21 victims found in Raska, Serbia, in 2014. All identified remains have been handed over, although there is still one unidentified set of remains. EULEX forensic experts conducted site assessments in the municipalities of Istog/Istok, Pejë/Peć, Prizren and South Mitrovica. In Prizren nothing was found, whereas the remains found in South Mitrovica are not connected to the Kosovo conflict. An excavation is planned following the site assessment for a possible grave in Pejë/Peć. EULEX also assisted in the conduct of an excavation in Novi Pazar, Serbia, but no remains were found.

Property rights

During the reporting period, the Kosovo Property Agency Appeals Panel received 114 new appeals and adjudicated 45 appeals, while 453 appeals are pending a decision of the panel.

The Special Chamber of the Supreme Court for privatization matters rendered 362 decisions in trial panel cases and finalized 43 cases at the appellate panel level.

2.2 Strengthening

On the digitalization of civil registry records, the Mission continued to advise the Ministry of Internal Affairs that all citizens and all data from certified copies should be entered into the electronic system to satisfy crucial needs, for instance of law enforcement agencies. This should happen automatically and not be only event-driven (for example, upon birth, marriage or death). This is particularly important in cases where persons do not reside in the territory, but, for example, want to claim property rights. This is related to the ongoing digitalization of cadastres, which includes all data in hardcopy cadastre books.

Following EULEX advice to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the issuance of visas at the crossing points has decreased to only six visas issued in the last six months, which constitutes good progress for Kosovo authorities in comparison to the situation reported in July 2014. As a relevant judicial database is still being established, EULEX advised the Ministry to create a specified channel for the flow of information between Kosovo authorities in the meantime, which comprises the Ministry of Justice, Kosovo police and the Civil Registry Agency.

The Mission advised the Kosovo Border Police to improve the communication with KFOR when it comes to the preparation of joint patrols along the border/boundary and the restrictions on the Border Police stemming from the Military Technical Agreement between NATO and Serbia of 1999, particularly with a view to the upcoming season for illegal logging.

As for the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, an analysis of disciplinary hearings and disciplinary decisions against prosecutors during the period from November 2014 to March 2015 showed that, despite certain progress, the overall situation of the disciplinary system remains weak and it is still in need of significant improvements, including through amendments to the legislative framework. In May, the Mission conducted a workshop for investigators of the Anti-Corruption Agency to address weaknesses identified in the investigation techniques and the quality of investigation reports. In addition, the Mission collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme in organizing a workshop on disciplinary investigations for investigators from the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel/Prosecutor, the Police Inspectorate of Kosovo and the Anti-Corruption Agency in order to tackle some of the weaknesses of the disciplinary system.

The Kosovo Correctional Service, in an effort to adequately deal with the staffing shortage, acted upon the Mission's advice and appointed a working group on planning issues, including Service-wide staffing and budget needs, recruitment procedures and the transfer of staff of the Pristina Detention Centre to the High Security Prison. The Service agreed to pilot a new staffing roster system with the support of EULEX at the High Security Prison, which suffers most from a lack of staff. After the verdicts in the "Drenica group" trials, the convicted defendants were again given preferential treatment by the Kosovo Correctional Service and the Kosovo police, despite the Mission on numerous occasions advising consistently to the contrary.

Apart from the Kosovo Correctional Service not properly categorizing the "Drenica group" convicts, in accordance with its own regulation, by admitting them to Dubrava Correctional Centre instead of the High Security Prison, the issue of abuse of extended medical appointments at the University Clinical Centre of Kosovo in Pristina remains a source of concern.

In May, EULEX discussed with the senior management of the Kosovo police and international partners the current state of play of the Kosovo police Directorate of Organized Crime Investigation. It was unanimously agreed that the Directorate needed to establish a more proactive, intelligence-led approach in organized crime investigations and to increase positive investigation results. EULEX provided strategic advice to the Kosovo police on the operational planning for several public order events during the month, including several protests of Kosovo Liberation Army war veterans associations and the recurring Vidovdan/St Vitus Day commemoration on 28 June. The Mission assessed that the preparations and execution of operational plans reflected the professionalism of the Kosovo police as well as proper planning on their part.

2.3 The north

As part of its monitoring, mentoring and advising activities and outreach in the north, the Mission continued to meet regularly with political representatives, civil society, Kosovo police Regional Command North, the Kosovo Correctional Service at the Mitrovica Detention Centre and others. On 24 May, the Head of Mission met with Kosovo police and mayors and other officials in Mitrovica North, Leposavic/Leposaviq, Zubin Potok and Zvečan/Zveçan to discuss security and other challenges.

Overall, the situation remained relatively calm but fragile. On 10 June, the remains of the Albanian historic national hero, Isa Boletini, were reburied in his home village in the northern municipality of Zvečan/Zveçan. Following thorough coordination with international and local counterparts, the events ended without significant incidents and proceeded in an overall calm and peaceful atmosphere.

There were a few security -related incidents in the reporting period. On 19 April, an assault against a police officer in a vehicle patrol occurred in Mitrovica North. On 27 May, Kosovo police arrested three armed Kosovo Albanian youngsters in Mitrovica North who had crossed the bridge from the south and pulled down Serbian flags. On 11 June, shots were fired against an independent local online media office in Mitrovica North, causing material damage. There was an attempt on 22 June by a Kosovo Albanian potential returnee to conduct (re)construction activities in the ethnically mixed neighbourhood of Brdjani/Kroi i Vitakut of Mitrovica North in violation of an agreement to resolve the issue on the central level; since then, works remain suspended.

On 19 June, a Kosovo Serb and his family left the house where they were residing, following a court eviction order. Kosovo police assisted the execution of the court order by cordoning off the area. A previous attempt to execute the eviction order had failed when Kosovo police were not able to keep protesters away from the site. Only 7 of 279 pending eviction requests were executed in Mitrovica North in 2014, according to the Kosovo Property Agency. Kosovo police assistance to the Agency began in 2009 but it was suspended following an incident in January 2010. In March 2015, Kosovo police resumed assistance to the Agency in executing eviction orders.

EULEX exercised its executive functions in a number of judicial cases. On 20 April, a panel of EULEX judges at Mitrovica Basic Court found two defendants not guilty in the first of three judicial proceedings related to the shooting of a Kosovo police officer, Enver Zymberi, in July 2011. The main trial in the case against five defendants including a well-known Kosovo Serb politician accused of war crimes continued throughout the reporting period with hearings of witnesses for the prosecution. In June, a detention hearing was held against five Kosovo Albanian defendants, all minors, charged with attempted aggravated murder (the stabbing of a Kosovo Serb youngster on 9 April) and for pulling down flags and threatening the public on 27 May, among other things. After one of the defendants had violated an initial house detention imposed on 28 May, a EULEX pre-trial judge on 25 June ordered a one-month detention on remand against him and lesser restrictive measures against two others. Also in June, the pathologist produced the final autopsy results for the Kosovo Albanian boy who went missing on 10 April and was found dead in the Ibër/Ibar River on 28 April 2015. The case was assigned to a EULEX prosecutor; the autopsy results indicated that there was no shooting involved. On 1 July, the main trial started against seven defendants indicted for an attack against EULEX personnel in the municipality of Zubin Potok in 2012.

The Mission continued to provide advice to the Kosovo police, including on inter-ethnic crime and on principles of intelligence-led policing. EULEX facilitated joint training for Kosovo police quick-response team officers Mitrovica-wide in basic tactical combat casualty care. This served to foster Mitrovica-wide cooperation; further training was discussed with Kosovo police regional commanders in Mitrovica North and South. EULEX continued to support the Kosovo police in their involvement in making the local public security committees fully operational by encouraging them to link in with police counterparts from Kosovo police Mitrovica South region and by supporting a joint working group on community policing.

2.4 Dialogue implementation

In April, the Chair of the Integrated Border Management Agreement Implementation Group visited two prospective new crossing points along the border/boundary. One is situated in northern Kosovo, in Rajetici/Izvor, and the other south of the Ibër/Ibar River, in Kapi/Kapija Vrapce. Both parties had made a request for these additional crossing points, which would fall under the same procedures as the already existing six interim crossing points. Following agreement on the exact locations and the layouts of these crossing points, the Chair of the Implementation Group and both parties signed the respective plans in June. It is expected that both new crossing points will become operational in 2016 at the latest. This development is yet another step forward in the implementation of the Integrated Border Management agreement. Preparatory work on the six agreed permanent crossing points is progressing.

The issue of mutual legal assistance between Belgrade and Pristina remains pending since the handover of the handling of requests for mutual legal assistance from EULEX to the European Union Special Representative in October 2014. Since 14 October, no requests have been answered or processed from the Belgrade side, and nearly 600 cases are pending, including cases handled by EULEX.

With regard to the process of registering and issuing licences to companies that import controlled goods through the northern crossing points at Rudnica/Jainje and Bernjak/Tabalije, since June the full regime applies with no significant problems reported to date.

At the end of April, the first sessions of the selection panel for the integration of civil protection staff were held as foreseen in the agreement in the framework of the European Union-facilitated dialogue. In June, the three observation points on the road from Mitrovica to Leposavic/Leposaviq were removed, pursuant to the agreement. On 1 July, the first 80 civil protection staff were integrated into the Agency for Emergency Management. Preparations to continue the integration process with other institutions are ongoing. The Ministry of Internal Affairs issued another decision, allowing people with old Kosovo licence plates with the letters KS instead of RKS to extend the temporary registration of their vehicle for one additional year, starting from the expiry date of the registration. All requests for transfer of registration plates from ex-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia/Serbian to Kosovo plates have to undergo a verification procedure. The requests are submitted through INTERPOL to Belgrade for verification. Currently, there are over 2,000 cases pending in Belgrade.

The signing on 23 June of a memorandum of understanding between Pristina and Belgrade on the mutual recognition of vehicle insurance policies is another step in the implementation of the freedom of movement agreement of July 2011, which will have a tangible impact on the freedom of movement. The memorandum will allow holders of vehicles with Kosovo licence plates to drive their vehicle in Serbia without prior purchasing of an additional border/boundary car insurance, and vice versa.

As for the agreement on justice integration, in May, 112 candidates applied for the positions of 48 judges and 25 prosecutors advertised publicly. In June and July, panels facilitated by EULEX interviewed eligible candidates and selection results need now to be processed by, respectively, the Kosovo Judicial Council and the Kosovo Prosecutorial Council before the formal appointments can be finalized as envisaged. Progress has been made by the Kosovo authorities to secure premises for the court building in Mitrovica South. A site visit to the future branches in Zubin Potok and Leposavic/Leposaviq was conducted.

3. Other key issues

The Joint Rule of Law Coordination Board, co-chaired by the Minister of Justice, the European Union Special Representative/Head of the European Union Office in Kosovo and the EULEX Head of Mission finally reconvened after a one -year hiatus on 14 May. The main outcome was the signature of the renewed Rule of Law Compact. The Kosovo authorities committed to ensuring that the institutions are adequately resourced to implement the compact actions and make them a priority. The Board also discussed, among other things, measures to strengthen the independence of the judiciary and the state of play of the Palace of Justice, in particular the need for improvements in the maintenance and security of the building. All parties welcomed the national action plan on sexual violence as a war crime and committed themselves to fully support it.

Annex II

Composition and strength of the police component of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
(as at 26 June 2015)

Country Number
Austria 1
Bulgaria 1
Germany 1
Hungary 1
Italy 1
Russian Federation 1
Turkey 1
Ukraine 1
Total 8

Composition and strength of the military liaison component of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
(as at 26 June 2015)

Country Number
Czech Republic 2
Poland 1
Republic of Moldova 1
Romania 1
Turkey 1
Ukraine 2
Total 8

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The Question of Kosovo
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