Rome tasked with EULEX mission in Kosovo. On Thursday, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani confirmed that Italy would take control of the civilian EULEX mission in Kosovo. It’s the European Union’s rule-of-law effort to support selected Kosovar institutions to become more effective, sustainable, inclusive, accountable and free from political interference.
- The role has been assigned to Carabinieri General Giovanni Pietro Barbano. FM Tajani remarked that his appointment is “good news” and “gratifying” for Italy, as it “shows that results are obtained with teamwork.”
- Italy deployed 23 more Carabinieri to staff operations in Kosovo.
Growing responsibility. Rome already oversees KFOR, NATO’s longest-running mission geared at stabilising the country that’s still at odds with neighbouring Serbia. The Carabinieri guard the most critical areas, such as the city of Mitrovica, divided in half between ethnic Serbs and Albanian Kosovars.
- Rome’s efforts fit in the context of the European diplomatic mission to encourage dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which is stalled at the moment, as internal resistance on the part of the Kosovar authorities prevents them to establish an Association of Serb-majority municipalities in the north of the country – a condition stipulated nine years ago and reiterated in the new plan drawn up by France and Germany.
The path to European integration. The Italian government has been moving to stabilise the relationship and push the Western Balkans nations towards European integration. Most recently, FM Tajani chaired the Ministerial Meeting on the Western Balkans, intended to consolidate Italy’s role in the region’s accession process – which is accelerating after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.