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Local government reform of utmost importance, says Head of OSCE Kosovo Mission

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Pristina, 22 July 2005 - The OSCE Mission in Kosovo today welcomed the signing of Administrative Direction No. 2005/11 on Pilot Projectsby the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Søren Jessen-Petersen, calling it a step which will bring government closer to the people.

"The OSCE Mission in Kosovo has fully supported the decentralisation process and will press for its implementation," said Ambassador Werner Wnendt, Head of the OSCE Mission. "It is crucial that all stakeholders start working on pilot projects as soon as possible. Time should not be wasted because progress in this area is imperative for a positive evaluation of developments in Kosovo".

The establishment of five Pilot Municipal Units represents the first step towards the extensive reform of local self-government in Kosovo.

"We expect the nomination and appointment of municipal councils and the definition of the competencies of the Pilot Municipal Units to follow without delay," added Ambassador Wnendt.

"This process will enhance coordination between the central and local levels of government in Kosovo and ultimately lead to a more effective and accountable system of local governance."

The OSCE Mission in Kosovo is ready to contribute to this reform by offering support in capacity building and expertise in drafting the necessary legislation.

Contact:

Edita Buçaj
Press Officer, OSCE Mission in Kosovo
Tel: +381 38 500 162 ext.118
Mob: +377 44 500 151