Assessing the EU Special Representative: Samuel Žbogar’s performance through Two Mandates

Group for Legal and Political Studies (GLPS) has published a Policy Report which thoroughly assesses the performance of Samuel Zbogar, the EU Special Representative in Kosovo throughout his first two mandates. He is the highest-ranking European Union official on the ground in Kosovo. He manages the distribution of tens of millions of Euros for Kosovo’s progress towards the EU. He heads an office that advises on every piece of Kosovo legislation to ensure that it is in line with European standards. He handles the day-to-day implementation of the fragile dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia on the Kosovo side. He mediates between Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs, between disparate EU member states and between the EU and third parties. As the EU Special Representative to Kosovo, Samuel Žbogar is the most important international official in Kosovo. This report looks at the background of his position, the Special Representative, and where it fits in the Kosovo context. It also considers how he came to be the Special Representative in Kosovo and examines his mandate in depth. The report also discusses the two aspects of his mandate: coordinating the EU presence in Kosovo and ensuring Kosovo’s European path, before concluding and giving recommendations for the Special Representative and the EU. Overall, the report gives a positive evaluation of the Special Representative, as his outreach to minorities, his advocacy on Kosovo’s behalf in the EU and aid to Kosovo’s legislative process, among other actions, far outweigh the problems present in a sometimes timid approach to local politics and sporadic communication breakdowns with the member states. To access the report, please click here.

Reviewing the normative compliance of the Draft Law on the prevention of Money Laundering with the EU Directive 2015/849 and FATF recommendations

Group for Legal and Political Studies has released a Policy Report entitled: ‘Reviewing the normative compliance of the Draft Law on the prevention of Money Laundering with the EU Directive 2015/849 and FATF recommendations’. The aim of this report is to provide a legal analysis of Kosovo’s anti money laundering (AML) and countering of terrorism financing (CTF) legislation, particularly the Draft Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Combating Terrorist Financing (Draft Law). This analysis will be made by comparing the Draft Law to international standards, primarily EU Directive 2015/849 (the Directive) and the recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF Recommendations). This report makes some general comments about the Draft Law, before moving onto analysing the law in relation to the EU Directive and FATF Recommendations and making recommendations on what needs to be improved in order to bring the law more in line with these standards. The provisions of the Draft Law that are not necessarily related to fulfilling the requirements of the Directive or FATF Recommendations will not always be considered, but should also be thoroughly checked by the drafters before the law is passed in parliament. To access the report, please click here.

 

Confiscation of Illicit Wealth: Challenges and Perspectives of the Kosovar Approach

This Policy Report identifies the main challenges and considers that the implementation of the mechanism of illicit wealth confiscation has not shown tangible results. Among other things, this Report offers a set of policy recommendations that would establish a more comprehensive legislative and institutional framework in the fight against corruption and organized crime through the mechanism of illicit wealth confiscation, which is rooted in other successful EU practices.To access the Policy Report, please click here.

Voter Abstention in Kosovo – Empirical Evidence on the Micro-Level

This Policy Report greatly contributes to understanding micro-level patterns of voting behavior in Kosovo. So far, there is no study that examines why many Kosovar citizens choose to abstain from voting in elections. Considering the extremely low voter turnout in the last two national elections, the empirical insights resulting from our study gain special importance. The report also highlights the fact that higher education fosters political participation and voter turnout. This result emphasizes the need to improve the political integration of all socio-economic groups and communities and, thereby, strengthen political awareness and feelings of political efficacy. To access the policy report, please click here.

Filling the Black Hole: Bringing Kosovo into International Police Cooperation Organizations.

The report discusses Kosovo’s limited involvement in, and exclusion from regional and international IPCOs. It is crucial for International Police Cooperation Organisations member states that Kosovo be included in such organizations in order for these IPCOs to be fully effective. Most importantly, the report sets forth policy recommendations that Kosovo stakeholders can implement that would strengthen Kosovo’s current IPCO participation, and would lead to Kosovo’s inclusion in IPCOs in which Kosovo is not a member.To access the Policy Report, please click here.