Kosovo institutions want additional competencies

Prishtinë, Jul 16, 2006 – In a letter sent to the UN-Administrator in Kosovo, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Agim Çeku, asked for more competencies and responsibilities for his Government and also for more ministries, Kosovar daily Zëri informs.

The Prime Minister’s draft-plan includes the establishment of new ministries and the handover of competencies in the field of customs and railways, more competencies in the budget and a key role in the Publicly Owned Enterprises’ (POEs) boards of directors – KEK, PTK, and Airport.

Çeku’s first request is the establishment of a European Integration Ministry. According to him, the Office for European Integration, which operates within the Prime Minister’s Office and is led by Venera Hajrullahu, proved to be the Government’s most successful pillar. Therefore, the Prime Minister considers that it is time for this office to be transformed into a ministry.

Çeku also asked for the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) to be renamed: For the MEF to be called Ministry of Finance, and the MTI Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The PM suggested changes also in the budget. He considers that it is not necessary for Kosovo to have two fiscal authorities – UNMIK and a local one. He suggests that the responsibilities be transferred only to one joint authority, while respecting the reserved powers of UNMIK.

As for the Ministry of Culture, Sport, Youth and Residential Issues, Çeku asked that the residential issues be transferred to the Prime Minister’s Office. Çeku also asked for the establishment of an Internal Security Agency; the Kosovo Pensions Saving Trust (KPST) Board of Directors to have also local members and the KPST’s fund be brought back to Kosovo; the local members to play a key role in the Board of Directors of POEs – PTK, KEK, and Airport; UNMIK Customs be renamed to Kosovo Customs; UNMIK Railways be called Kosovo Railways.

Finally Çeku asked for changes inside UNMIK. According to Çeku, UNMIK should be represented by a council which would make sure that Kosovo’s trade agreements are in compliance with Resolution 1244, while agreement responsibilities should be transferred to locals.

The draft-plan has also been submitted to the Deputy UN-Administrator, Steven Schook, currently acting SRSG. The plan is to be discussed by the PM and UNMIK.