BRUSSELS / PRISTINA, Kosovo — The member of the European Parliament (MEP) and parliament rapporteur for Kosovo, Ulrike Lunacek, was expelled from the application procedure for the position of the EU representative in Kosovo. Prior to this decision, the Austrian Lunacek was said to be the preferred candidate of EU foreign affairs commissioner Catherine Ashton and EU exten- sion commissioner Stefan Fule. Reportedly Ashton even personally encouraged the Green Party’s member Lunacek to submit her application. As to Austrian media, the EU foreign affairs administration claims formal reasons for the sudden rejection:
The post of an EU ambassador respectively Representative requires to be a member either of the EU diplomatic service, or of a national diplomatic service of the EU member states. MEP Lunacek doesn’t meet these formal conditions. In a statement, quoted at the Austrian paper ‘Die Presse’, Lunacek expressed her disappointment: "I am irritated, that one hides behind formal criteria".
The fact, that the preconditions of Lunacek’s application as well as her career details were transparent in advance, may raise doubts on the true reason for Ahston’s U-turn:
Just recently Lunacek strongly expressed her anger about the absence of Serbia’s President Tadic at the summit of East-European countries in Poland. The decision was taken by Serbia due to the presence of Kosovo’s new President Atifete Jahjaga. Lunacek called Tadic’s behavior a provocation: Only by achieving "progress concerning the independent Kosovo, Serbia will realize the EU candidate status", Lunacek stated. Against Serbia’s expectations, she also made clear, that "Mladic’s arrest is no free ticket for Serbia’s EU candidate status". In addition a few weeks earlier Lunacek urgently requested a fast beginning of the visa-liberalization procedure for Kosovo.
By this Lunacek gained sympathy within the Kosovo-Albanian population on the one hand, but worked against the current mainstream of the EU and the disputed EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo – EULEX– on the other hand: While EU and EULEX handle the "Kosovo issue" on the basis of a legislative-juridical perspective only, MEP Lunacek repeatedly dared to address a differentiated political and moral point of view, regarding the recent history of Kosovo and Serbia.
Personalities with an opinion and moral values are a nightmare for political administrators. They are not welcome in an EU / UN ruled Kosovo – it seems. And of course not by Serbian officials and Serbia backed parallel structure representatives in northern Kosovo. If the Kosovo government would have been remaining in favor of Lunacek after some time – when she would have started to address some Kosovo-specific attitudes – can’t be answered anymore.
This article was first published on Technorati – Politics!