At the tenth meeting of the Steering Committee of the Justice Sector Programme in Kosovo, financed by the European Union, the achievements for January – April 2023 period, were discussed. The meeting, held in Pristina on April 26, was co-chaired by the Chair of Kosovo Judicial Council Mr. Albert Zogaj, and Mr. Volkmar Theobald, EUKOJUST Team Leader.
Present at the meeting were also: Deputy Minister of Justice Mr. Blerim Sallahu, Chair of Kosovo Prosecutorial Council, Mr. Jetish Maloku, Acting Chief State Prosecutor, Mr. Besim Kelmendi, Director of the Legal Office of the Prime Minister’s Office Mr. Mentori Borovci, EUKOJUST Project Director from IRZ Ms. Teresa Thalhammer, as well as Mr. Nicola Scaramuzzo from EU Office in Kosovo.
During the presentation, it was underlined that in general, EUKOJUST has made progress in supporting the inter-institutional coordination mechanism and beneficiary institutions, Ministry of Justice, Kosovo Judicial Council, Kosovo Prosecutorial Council and Kosovo Justice Academy, with the aim of increasing their capacities for systematic and sustainable coordination of the overall rule of law and justice system.
In addition, the project provided support in strengthening their capacities for better coordination and communication among their institutions and their representatives, as an essential part of the well-functioning of the overall justice system.
The large-scale modification of Kosovo justice legal order towards their approximation with the EU Acquis has been further supported. In parallel, the project is also supporting the legal cleaning and legal consolidation process to create a coherent legal order that can be easily implemented.
The project contributed to improvement of access to justice for all in Kosovo, especially for women, ethnic minorities, juveniles, persons with disabilities, vulnerable, marginalized, and under-represented groups, by strengthening free legal aid mechanism, improving access to jurisprudence and legislation in non-majority languages, and strengthening free legal professions as per the strategy on the fight against domestic violence and rule of law strategy and ensuring its implementation.
During this period, EUKOJUST has supported its stakeholders with eighteen (18) assessment and research reports, drafted four (4) concept documents; provided support in drafting of five (5) sub-legal acts and supported seven (7) strategies and action plans; drafted seven (7) manuals and SoP’s. Regarding capacity building, eight (8) training programs and materials to support the justice reform in line with the EU best practices were drafted by the experts and started with their implementation. Finally, the experts have provided one memorandum of cooperation between KCS and Centre for Counselling, Social Service and Research. During these three months, the project organised 20 events including a study visit for interpreters and translators at the European Parliament and European Commission translation services in Brussels.
The data evidence from the capacity building events were systematically collected by the project and disaggregated by gender. The project has further cooperated with parallel assistance and all sector donors in Kosovo, to create good synergy and coordinate their activities to avoid any possible overlap. After the discussion, the voting members of the Steering Committee set the end of July as the date for the next Steering Committee Meeting and agreed on its chairing, while EUKOJUST presented the work plan for the next quarter.