EU mission too expensive and inefficient

Published on 31 October 2012 at 13:18


"EU brought to task over Kosovo mission," comments French daily Le Figaro, regarding a report published by the European Court of Auditors concerning the European Union's management of the Kosovo crisis. The Auditors note "modest success in contributing to the capacities of the Kosovo police" and the "lack of progress" in fighting organised crime and corruption. They also point out the coordination problems between the European Commission and EULEX, the Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, the paper says. In short, the balance sheet shows "the limited effectiveness of EU assistance," the financial mismangement and the cruel lack of human resources of the mission, the paper notes.

Yet, Le Figaro stresses —

... on paper, the EU has gone the extra mile to support the rule of law in Pristina. Per capita, the Kosovars are the all-category champions of European aid [...] Brussels is spearheading two major operations there. One, led by the Commission, consists of traditional financial aid which has been reinforced. The other, led by the EU's diplomatic 'branch' – the EULEX mission – is responsible for, among other things, such sensitive issues as the police, the justice system and the customs service.

For German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Auditors' uncompromising judgement is not surprising —

All international efforts at 'nation building' reveal the same phenomena. First, the presence of foreign experts turns the economic situation topsy-turvy, whether it be in Kosovo or in Afghanistan. We witness the birth of a layer of the privileged – and of profiteers – ranging from the chauffeur to the businessperson and including interpreters, who all have a strong interest in stretching out for as long as possible the need for aid in which the country finds itself. [...] Not to mention the tensions between public and private aid organisations or with the local contractors, all of which lead to a loss of efficiency. And there are many other problems. Yet, we would be pleased if the Auditors, who rightly point out these inefficiencies, also gave some advice on how to remedy them. Just saying that such missions should not be launched is not a solution either.

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