European Journal of Policing Studies


International police reform and project management

Empirical observations on EULEX Kosovo

Keywords EULEX, Kosovo, international police reform, programmatic approach, best practices, personnel gap
Authors Jelle Janssens
Author's information

Jelle Janssens
Jelle Janssens (corresp.: is a doctoral assistant at the department of penal law and criminology at the law faculty of Ghent University and member of the Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP). He holds a PhD. in criminology. His research focuses on governance of security and plural policing in transitional societies.
  • Abstract

      In February 2008, the European Union (EU) launched its largest civilian crisis management operation under its Common Security and Defence Policy: the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX). It was to take over UNMIK’s rule of law functions and help pave the way for Kosovo’s European integration. Based on field research conducted in Kosovo from November 2010 until February 2011 and interviews with members of EULEX, this article examines one distinctive element of EULEX’s approach towards police reform: the programmatic approach. Although promising and based on principles of sound project management, this approach is faced with a number of challenges that are inextricably bound with international police missions and relate to the cumbersome process of recruiting a sufficient number of qualified personnel. However, the article contends that because of its distinctive character, EULEX’s programmatic approach may provide an alternative to the conventional manner in which international police reform is being conceived and especially composed.

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