EULEX Kosovo

A status-neutral and technical mission?

Authored by: Vjosa Musliu

The Routledge Handbook of Critical European Studies

Print publication date:  December  2020
Online publication date:  December  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138589919
eBook ISBN: 9780429491306
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429491306-31

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Abstract

The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) deployed in 2008 is the biggest and most expensive mission of its sort in the history of the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). In the course of ten years of its operation, EULEX's annual budget has been 50 million euros (Haxhiaj 2018), a budget approximately 45% higher compared to EU's Instrument for Pre-accession (IPA) funds for Kosovo (Kursani 2012). The vast budget allocated for EULEX and its relatively higher number of staff compared to other CSDP missions around the world led to high expectations both from the local authorities and institutions in Kosovo as well as from international observers. Having been administered by the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) for nearly a decade (1999–2008), the locals in Kosovo perceived EULEX as an ‘upgrade’ that would deal more seriously with building democracy. The high expectations for EULEX were also international. Being the most ambitious mission in CSDP's history, the mission was seen as a litmus test for the EU and its capabilities to build democratic systems ‘abroad’.

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