Ashton's U-Turn - MEP Lunacek won't be EU Representative in Kosovo
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 European Union representative in Kosovo. Prior to this decision, the Austrian Green Party's member Lunacek was said to be the preferred candidate of EU foreign affairs commissioner Catherine Ashton and EU extension commissioner Stefan Fule. Reportedly Ashton even personally encouraged Lunacek to submit her application. As to Austrian media, the EU foreign affairs administration claims formal reason for the sudden rejection:
The post as 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. The Green Party politician Lunacek doesn't meet these 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.Continued on the next page