International supervision of Kosovo comes to an end, leaving Kosovo's constitution as the sole basis for the country's legal framework.
By Safet Kabashaj for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 13/09/12
Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said the decision to end supervised independence is an important moment for the state of Kosovo. [Safet Kabashaj/SETimes]
Kosovo entered a new phase this week after western powers decided on Monday (September 10th) to end the international supervision that they established in 2008 after Kosovo declared its independence.
International Civilian Representative Pieter Feith announced the decision by International Steering Group (ICG).
The termination of supervised independence, which went into effect immediately, also ended the mandate of Dutch diplomat in Kosovo. Nevertheless, the International Civilian Office shall close by the end of 2012, following the completion of necessary internal administrative tasks.
The Ahtisaari Plan no longer exists as a separate and superior legal power, which means that Kosovo constitution now constitutes the sole basis for the country's legal framework. Marti Ahtisaari, the former Finnish president who led the negotiations on Kosovo's final status, attended the ICG meeting and afterward celebrations.
Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said that ICG decision is an important moment for the state of Kosovo, which marks a historic turnaround for the state which is getting consolidated each day. "Today we are closing a chapter, the one of the supervision of independence. This is an international trust in the Kosovo state from the democratic world," he said.
In their first addressing Kosovo's leaders acknowledged that serious challenges lie ahead for the country. "The fight against corruption and organized crime must be won," President Atifete Jahjaga said, adding that the good neighbourhood relations issue is a concern for Kosovo.
EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, stressed the support for Kosovo's European future and the need for continuing with EU-related reforms.