Parliament supports civilian mission to Kosovo

In a meeting with parliamentary committee members, foreign minister Maxime Verhagen and the Ministers of Defence and the Interior were assured that the House of Representatives supports a Dutch contribution to a civilian mission to Kosovo.

The goal of EULEX, a civilian operation sponsored by the European Union, is to provide assistance to Kosovo in the areas of public administration, police, justice and customs. The Netherlands will deploy a delegation of forty to sixty officers from the civilian police, the military and border police and the justice system. In total EU member states will send some two thousand people to Kosovo.

Commenting on the mission, Mr Verhagen stressed the importance of stability in the Balkans to Europe and expressed confidence that EULEX would make a significant contribution to achieving that stability. A properly functioning police force and justice system are prerequisites for combating transnational crime and illegal immigration jointly and at EU level.

The Netherlands recognised Kosovo as an independent state on 4 March 2008.

The EU will cover most of the cost of the mission. The Netherlands’ share in the cost is estimated at €8.6 million. The mission will run until 15 February 2010.