“High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Federica Mogherini said on Friday she intensified contacts with presidents of Kosovo and Serbia, trying to get the two for a meeting in Brussels in a fortnight.

She said she wanted Serbia’s Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Hashim Thaci to agree to continue the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on a legally binding document on normalisation of relations, including the long pending issue of creation of the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) in Kosovo.

The dialogue was put on hold following the brief detention of a Belgrade official in Pristina where he was without Kosovo’s authorities permit in March.

The event prompted a series of bitter exchanges between the leaders from both capitals.

Kosovo delegation later cancelled participation in a technical part of the talks insisting the energy deal and joint control of the border top the agenda. Belgrade has demanded that it should be the formation of the CSM.” (N1)

“The EU’s rule of law mission in Kosovo is handing over responsibility for judicial affairs to local authorities. Critics say the decade-long program failed to hold high-level criminals and corrupt officials to account.

Rule of law does not come cheap, as the case of Kosovo demonstrates. Almost €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) in European Union funds were shelled out for the bloc’s latest mission aimed at upholding the rule of law in Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo). This week, the European Council announced that the judicial executive aspects of EULEX will come to an end, meaning that local authorities in Kosovo will take control of all investigations, prosecutions and trials.

The EULEX mission will, however, keep a presence in Kosovo for an additional two years to monitor developments and provide guidance.

EULEX was established in 2008, as the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) was winding down. In that same year, Kosovo, which by then had become inhabited almost exclusively by ethnic Albanians, declared itself independent from Serbia. EULEX was created to assist Kosovo in establishing a democratic state and the rule of law, which it struggled to achieve on its own due to incompetence, lack of resources, and politicized and corrupt public institutions.” (Deutsche Welle)

“What do you do in Kosovo, one of Europe’s poorest countries, if you’re unemployed but young, computer-savvy and proficient in English? If you’re also entrepreneurial, one cottage industry you might consider is ‘mining’ cryptocurrency, or digital coins.

Although the best-known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, has dropped far below the prices it hit in a speculative bubble last December, it can still provide a living in a country that has the highest internet penetration in the Balkans – and the cheapest electricity.

‘Kosovars find cryptocurrencies an alluring investment,’ said Ermal Sadiku, a software engineer and cryptocurrency expert. ‘Secondly, there was a lot of dirty money around – and cryptocurrency investment was a fast way to get rid of it.’” (Reuters)