EU Statement on the recent developments in the North of Kosovo

OSCE Permanent Council No. 1444. Vienna, 28 September 2023.

The EU condemns in the strongest possible terms the hideous terrorist attack against Kosovo Police officers in the north of Kosovo on 24 September, which left one police officer dead and three injured in the events that followed. We express our condolences to the family, colleagues, and loved ones of the police officer who lost his life in the line of duty, and wish speedy recovery to those police officers who were injured. All facts about the attack need to be established and the responsible perpetrators must be held accountable and face justice.

The EU and its Member States urge all sides to work to de-escalate the situation in the north of Kosovo and avoid any rhetoric or action that would lead to further increased tensions. Calm and stability need to be restored.

EULEX has been at the scene since Sunday, at the request of Kosovo Police, and continues to closely follow the situation, in cooperation with them. As second security responder, EULEX stands ready to support Kosovo institutions to maintain stability and security on the ground, in line with its mandate and in close coordination with KFOR.

There is no alternative to the EU-facilitated dialogue. In line with the statements issued by HRVP Borrell on behalf of the EU Member States on 3rd June and 19th September this year, the EU calls on both sides to return to it, fully implement all obligations and past commitments, in particular the Agreement on the Path to Normalisation, which was reached earlier this year, and constructively re-engage in the process. Its implementation is urgent and crucial for the stability of the entire region and the respective European paths of both sides.

We also thank the OSCE Mission in Kosovo for contributing to ongoing efforts to de-escalate tensions.

The Candidate Countries TÜRKIYE, NORTH MACEDONIA*, MONTENEGRO*, ALBANIA*, UKRAINE, the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA, and BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA*, and the EFTA countries ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN and NORWAY, members of the European Economic Area, as well as SAN MARINO align themselves with this statement.

* North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process