Drip-Fed by the EU
The report of the European Court of Auditors (ECA), published Tuesday, begins with a short recapitulation of recent developments in Kosovo. It recalls how NATO invaded in the summer of 1999 and - in the name of the UN - took control of this south Serbian province; how its formal secession was prepared and - in violation of international law - finally imposed in February 2008. In spite of the massive pressure particularly from Germany and the USA, Kosovo has been recognized by only 91 countries. Berlin has not been even able to prevail within the EU: Five EU member countries continue to consider the region part of Serbia - in accordance with the terms of international law. In defiance of all resistance to this illegal secession, Priština has been receiving billions in subventions from western donor countries since 1999. According to the ECA, between 1999 and 2007 alone, it received 3.5 billion Euros - two thirds of which originated in the budgets of the EU and its member countries. An additional 1.2 billion Euros had been provided for the period 2009 - 2011. Kosovo, which has not been recognized by one-fifth of the EU member states, is today the main - per capita - recipient of EU aid.
The Mafia in Power
In this context, the "European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo," EULEX is of particular importance, because of the social situation. Before the attack on Yugoslavia, in March 1999, Germany and NATO had already begun to arm the mafia militia of the archaic clan-dominated back hills of Kosovo against Belgrade. During the war, the KLA actually functioned as the ground forces of NATO's bombers. When the combat ended, they had developed into the strongest force of the South-Serbian province. Their leader, at the time, Hasim Thaci, has been Kosovo's Prime Minister, since 2008. Since the 1990s, the mafia activities of the head of government and his current entourage have regularly been the object of international criticism. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.) EULEX was therefore given the task of establishing principles of rule of law in Kosovo. EULEX, with its 2,500 employees, is the largest crisis operation that the EU has ever had.
The ECA has rendered a devastating verdict against EULEX not only for anomalies that could be considered simply mismanagement. According to the ECA, the EU Commission supports the establishment of an independent information system for the border police of Kosovo, rather than the creation of a unified system for the entire police force - as the EULEX had demanded. This EU authority acknowledged that there simply had been no coordination during preparations. Besides, the implementation of both projects was "significantly delayed," the supply of the equipment was more than a year late. In any case, the primary objective for these measures had been to replace a long since existing information system, simply because it was introduced by the USA, with a new fully EU-standards compliant system. Implementation of the new system was difficult because of the Kosovo authorities’ preference to continue with the existing system. This was in no case, a promotion of efficient police work, criticized the ECA.
The fact that, at best, Kosovo has made "limited progress in the struggle against organized crime" after years of EU engagement is even more serious. According to the ECA, the organized crime situation, in fact, has "changed very little" since 1999, remaining at a "high level." Investigations of even major crimes are "still ineffective," not just due to limited experience, but mainly because of political interference. The Kosovo authorities also lack the capacity to tackle financial and economic crime and money laundering - the kinds of criminality usually accompanying mafia activities.
Unsovereign Judicial System
In spite of the years of EU engagement, the judicial system still suffers from "fundamental weaknesses," complains the ECA. There are numerous vacancies because the Kosovo authorities turned down the personnel recommendations made by the occupation forces. Significant deficits are current in the assurance of minority rights. Only 33 percent of the posts reserved for members of minorities in the judicial system have been filled. It is impossible to reasonably prosecute crimes due to the low number of judges and prosecutors. Political interference is facilitated by the fact that cases are arbitrarily assigned to judges and prosecutors. Since 2004, an EU system aimed at correcting the situation, has been in preparation, but has yet to be implemented. It was confirmed to the OSCE that some judges are "not fully willing to render their judgements on the basis of the law only, but tend to act in anticipatory obedience to external influences." The ECA discerns a positive development in only one area: the establishment of Kosovo's customs system "has been largely successful."
The ECA once again provides an indication of the consequences of geostrategic motivated military operations, such as the aggression over Kosovo. To vanquish its enemy, Germany has regularly cooperated with forces, which were powerful enough to win wars, but whose social qualities are diametrically opposed to a humane development in the region targeted by German interventions. This had been the case in Afghanistan in the 1980s when, within the framework of the western alliance, the Federal Republic of Germany helped support the Afghan Mujahedeen fighting pro-Soviet forces in Kabul and the Soviet army. The consequences are well known. Cooperation with the KLA, which, together with NATO, was strong enough to tear Kosovo away from Yugoslavia, has ultimately led to the rule of Mafiosi clans, provoking complaints now from the ECA. A similar outcome can be expected from Berlin's current cooperation with Afghan warlords to maintain control at the Hindu Kush, (german-foreign-policy.com reported,) or in Syria, where Islamist militia are fighting on the side of the West. This brutalization of social relations corresponds to the logic of warfare, in as much as, not the most humane, but the most barbaric forces are the more promising allies, who, in the long run, become the most influential forces shaping the future.