Dutch delegation joins EULEX mission in Kosovo

The Dutch government has agreed to the proposal by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice and the Interior to participate in the European Union ’s rule of law mission in Kosovo (EULEX).

The aim of EULEX is to support government, police and the justice and customs authorities in Kosovo. Some two thousand police and civilians from EU member states will be heading to Kosovo in the next few weeks. EULEX will run until February 2010.

The Dutch government aims to contribute 40 to 60 police and military police officers and judicial and civilian experts. So far, 23 candidates have been selected. The Netherlands and France are also investigating the possibility of sending a joint Franco-Dutch police unit to Kosovo.

The EULEX operation is financed largely by the EU. The costs for the Netherlands are estimated at €8.6 million.

The Dutch government supports the EU’s role in strengthening the rule of law in the young republic. The Netherlands recognised Kosovo as an independent state on 4 March 2008. It sees assistance in developing a properly functioning police and judicial system as essential to stability in Kosovo and the entire Balkan region.