UNMIK considering transfer of further competencies

Prishtina, 29 April 2004 – UNMIK is considering the possibility of the pillars ‘to move under the shadow’, that is to transfer certain competencies to local authorities, Kosovar daily “Zëri” quoted its sources on Wednesday. The same sources told the paper that although there are yet no concrete proposals by locals that would prove the willingness to take over certain competencies, there are some ideas according to which the restructuring process in the international administration would start with Pillar II, which is in charge of civil administration, and Pillar IV, which is in charge of economic development.

UNMIK spokesperson Jeff Bieley told “Zëri”, “We will take into account all options to improve the work of UNMIK. There are different options presented either by media or other circles. But, we must obtain an approval from UN in New York and Security Council for any major change.”

Referring to other sources “Zëri” notes that the greatest resistance seems to come from Pillar IV. Same sources are even mentioning the possibility of removing Nikolaus Lambsdorff, who does not have similar opinions as Holkeri when it comes to transfer of competencies. Same sources also say that there isn’t a good relation between the two and that tensions arose especially after Holkeri’s decision to remove Marie Fucci from the position of KTA’s managing director.

On the other hand, the Prime Minister has presented the plan for changes to operational policies related to economic development and privatization and has proposed the establishment of his office in this field, reports “Zëri”. With regards to OSCE it has been said that this pillar should be reduced to an independent mission, similar to OSCE missions in other countries, and should not be part of UNMIK.

According to “Zëri” sources, the only pillar for which there is no will for transfer of competences is Pillar I. These projects are being discussed and other details will be concretized during talks the chief administrator and his deputy will have with Prime Minister Rexhepi. Same sources said that the whole process is being passed through the decision making international centres. At the end greater moral support from the Security Council is needed since 1244 Resolution foresees the phase in which UNMIK should have prepared local authorities for self-governance, writes “Zëri”.