OSCE: EU Statement in response to the UNSG's Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo, H.E. President Martti Ahtisaari

Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union
(Special) Meeting of the Permanent Council No. 636

15 November 2006

The European Union warmly welcomes the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo, President Martti Ahtisaari, to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his comprehensive briefing on the ongoing process to determine the future status of Kosovo.

The European Union strongly supports this process and the work done by President Ahtisaari and his team. The EU has a clear interest in a positive outcome of this process. Its success will be essential not only for providing a clear perspective for the people in Kosovo but also for the overall stability of the region. We therefore once again call on both Pristina and Belgrade to engage constructively in the status process.

While we note the progress made by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in Kosovo in the implementation of standards during the past six months, further progress is still required. It is only through status with standards that the paramount objective of building a functioning and viable Kosovo can be achieved. We also call upon Serbia to encourage Serbs in Kosovo to participate in Kosovo's institutions. This is how they are able to shape their future, which is in Kosovo.

Mr. Chairman, the EU remains committed to building a democratic and multiethnic Kosovo within Europe. We value the essential work done by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo through its headquarters in Pristina as well as its broad field presence. We see the OSCE as continuing to play an important role in the support of a peaceful, democratic and multiethnic Kosovo. 

The EU stands ready to assist the implementation of a status settlement. Depending on the future status settlement, the EU's engagement in Kosovo could have three main components: the EU contribution to a possible future international civilian presence, a possible European Security and Defence Policy operation in the broader field of rule of law and an EU presence related to the European perspective of Kosovo. Preparations are well underway in all these areas.

Every conflict has its own specific history and is unique. Kosovo’s specificity lies in the crisis of 1999, the NATO military intervention, the UN intervention resulting in the Security Council resolution 1244, creating an international protectorate and the building of self government institutions under international community supervision.

Mr. Chairman, the resolution of Kosovo’s future status must enable both Belgrade and Pristina to make progress towards the European Union. In this vein, we shall continue to closely cooperate with President Ahtisaari and his team in support of his work. We wish him all success in this challenging task.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro as well as the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area align themselves with this statement.

* Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process