European Union Rule of Law Mission
Signing of European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) Agreement
Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs
October 22, 2008
It is a great pleasure to sign, and by signing, bringing into force what I understand is the first such document, the first time Americans have taken part in such an EU mission. It establishes a precedent for what I hope is a future cooperation between the United States and the European Union. The United States and Europe are partners and great centers of democracy, of wealth and, therefore, of responsibility to use the power that we have to work together in the world and with the world and with each other.
Specifically, these signatures bring into force the agreement for the United States to participate in the ESDP mission in Kosovo, the so-called EULEX mission.
The United States will provide 80 police officers and up to 8 judges and prosecutors in this EU-led mission. Beyond its larger significance, this agreement underscores the shared European-American desire to work together to support the development of Kosovo.
The deployment of EULEX throughout Kosovo will be a critical element of the supervised independence for this new state, and it will benefit all of Kosovo citizens and contribute to Kosovo stability and stability of the region.
The United States supports Kosovo’s progress in developing a stable democratic European-oriented multi-ethnic state, laying the groundwork for prosperity and a European future for all the people who live in Kosovo.
51 countries have recognized Kosovo so far, including three quarters of the European Union and NATO States, all of the G7, that is about 25% of the UN members, and this represents a shared global commitment to Kosovo and stability in the Balkans.
We also support a European future for Serbia. We disagreed....we have disagreements with Serbia about Kosovo, but we do not disagree that Serbia deserves a European future, and we look forward to the day when Serbia and Kosovo and all the States of that region will be together in the wider European family; that will be a good day and this is a small step in that direction.
I am very pleased by the work that the EU and the United States have done, NATO is still in Kosovo, this is an example of cooperation to bring peace and stability to that country and to the region of the Balkans.
Thank you very much.