Press Release

Human Rights Review Panel visits Brussels

Press Release
Number              02-2012
Date                  08.05.2012
Contact              John J Ryan

The Human Rights Review Panel (Panel) represented by Ms. Magda Mierzewska, Panel Member and John J Ryan, Senior Legal Officer met with CivCom Working Group member state representatives in Brussels on Monday, 7 May, 2012. The Working Group was chaired by Mr. Mika-Markus Leinonen, Director, DGE IX, Civilian Crisis Management, General Secretariat of the Council of the EU. He was accompanied by Ms. Mercedes Garcia Perez, EEAS and Mr. Alexis Hupin, EEAS.

The purpose of the meeting was to brief the Working Group on the operations of the Panel since it commenced its work in April 2010.  Ms. Mierzewska delivered a power point presentation on the mandate, operations and caseload of the Panel. She said that there were some lingering reservations about the non-binding nature of the Panel recommendations to the Head of Mission. Ms. Mierzewska also stated that there was some residual apprehension about the exclusion of compensation for complainants. She also said that there was a persistent lack of awareness of the mandate and operations of the Panel among the public at large despite the implementation of a comprehensive outreach campaign. She stated that it could be concluded at this time that EULEX had established a good human rights record in Kosovo.

The Belgian representative stated that the establishment of the Panel was an important initiative by the EU which added to the credibility of EULEX. The Swedish Representative anticipated that the reconfiguration of EULEX would lead to an increased presence in Northern Kosovo and asked about the Panel outreach campaign in northern Mitrovica/e. He was advised of the Panels outreach campaign there to date and of its intention to resume the campaign there when the security situation improved. The Swedish Representative congratulated the Panel on the successful completion of its first two years of operations and he re-emphasized the importance of the Panel as a human rights accountability mechanism for the credibility of EULEX. Mr. Leinonen noted that it was two years since the Panel last met with the CIVCom Working Group in Brussels and he invited the Panel to make such presentations on a more regular basis in the future.

Please see for further information on the Panel.

 Notes to the editor;
The Human Rights Review Panel (Panel) for EULEX Kosovo, as an independent accountability mechanism for alleged violations of human rights,  reviews complaints from any person claiming to be the victim of human rights violations by EULEX Kosovo in the conduct of its executive mandate. The Panel is not a judicial or disciplinary body. The mechanism will solely look into whether a violation of human rights occurred or not and formulate recommendations for remedial action. Such action does no include monetary compensation.  The Psnel is independent in the exercise of its functions which it performs with impartiality and integrity.