Sejdiu: Constitutionality and rule of law constitute the cornerstone of Kosovo’s growth

During a meeting today with the Head of EULEX, Mr. Yves de Kermabon, which discussed overall developments in the country and challenges laying ahead, President Sejdiu said that their join objective was to ensure that Kosovo sets its pace in the process of its integration into the European Union and NATO. He also emphasized that constitutionality and rule of law represent the cornerstone to their commitment to and engagement in the further growth of Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state.

President Sejdiu said that EULEX will maintain its support to and partnership with the institutions of our country and that there will be a good cooperation with other institutions, such as KFOR, which has a specific mandate, despite its downsizing, which is in line with the stability in our country.

Speaking of latest developments following the ‘Bllaca case’, President Sejdiu said that investigations will be carried out and that the best work that can be done in this regard is detached from politics and that political influences will not contribute to investigation proceedings. He also said that there is an urgent need to resolve each case.
“I would rather not prejudge if it is true or not or anticipate any outcome, as it is up to prosecutors’ offices and the entire judiciary to provide for a final outcome” - President Sejdiu pointed out.

Moreover, President Sejdiu said that strong commitments have been made, on the part of EULEX as well, to undertake effective actions and speed up the reforms in judiciary.

“The judiciary and relevant bodies, including other branches of government, will ensure that they are completely effective and advancing in terms of facing all the challenges that may lie ahead, in fighting corruption and organized crime and in resolving crimes that have been committed in certain periods of time. I believe that all the people of Kosovo, without any distinction, would feel very much relieved if the truth would be revealed in terms of well-elaborated arguments. I believe that EULEX and the remaining international presence in Kosovo will provide an unwavering support in this regard” – President Sejdiu said.

President Sejdiu and Mr. Kermabon denied assertions that relations between EULEX and Kosovo institutions have grown colder, underscoring that Kosovo institutions and EULEX maintain a good cooperation and that this cooperation should be strengthened further.

The Head of EULEX-it, Mr. Yves de Kermabon, said that, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the EULEX Mission in Kosovo, he had come to thank the President and the people of Kosovo for their support during this first and crucial year of cooperation.

“As you know” – he added – the decision by the 27 member states to send this mission to Kosovo clearly shows the EU commitment to Kosovo for the European integration as part of the European perspective for the Western Balkans.”

He said that the need to establish a functional and civil rule of law system is crucial for Kosovo in order for it to develop a society that can prosper democratically, financially, socially and culturally.

“The Council of the EU stressed yesterday that the major challenges remain in Kosovo. This includes the rule of law and the fight against corruption and organized crime. These are our common challenges and something which the people of Kosovo, the Kosovo institutions and EULEX must work on solving together. This can not be done in isolation, but requires cooperation at the local and regional levels, including the EU level” – Mr. Kermabon pointed out.

Speaking of progress made in Kosovo as of 1999, Mr. Kermabon said that Kosovo has come a long way, but that building a functional rule of law system doesn’t happen over a night and that judicial processes and investigation need time, just as the establishment of a local corps of judges and prosecutors does.

He promised that EULEX will be here to support Kosovo in improving the situation further and that Kosovo’s success is directly linked to EULEX and EU success.

“Speaking about results, I know that the people may have a lot of concerns, but you may have seen today in some articles concerning justice and you know that, for example, we have the prosecutorial offices who are dealing with more than 1000 cases, we have brought more than 50 verdicts and we have reopened the court in Mitrovica” – Kermabon underlined.

On the other hand, answering a question posed by a journalist regarding the latest developments in the fields of justice and rule of law, he said that there are still a lot of things to deal with.

“There are very difficult cases, but you must understand that this is very important to everybody, because in rule of law we have justice and justice is a very complex process, a very long process” – Kermabon pointed out.

“We need to check everything if want a real, fair and balanced justice and to do this we need first to work with serenity, independence and confidentiality. Justice is not a negative process and I think everybody has to understand this” – he affirmed.

Further on, responding to the curiosity of journalists about the “Bllaca case”, the Head of EULEX said that, once again, one has to wait for judicial proceedings.

“It is a very sensitive case, everybody knows. There is a mass of people speaking about this. I guess this is the media side of the coin, but we also have the justice side of the coin. Judges and prosecutors are working. You know that Mr. Bllaca has been interviewed a week ago, has been transferred to the judge, the judge has decided to put him in detention and here we are. We have to let the justice do their job and when we have some information, when the judge or the prosecutor has some information, than we will inform you about their decisions” – Mr. Kermabon said.