Missions are no substitute for politics: that insight is confirmed by an interim assessment of the achievements of EULEX Kosovo – the largest mission of the Common Security and Defense Policy. In July 2011, a customs conflict in northern Kosovo that had largely disappeared from the international crisis radar suddenly escalated. The root cause was the question whether the European Union would tolerate the creeping secession of northern Kosovo. Since then, consistent European – and especially German – diplomacy has contributed to progress. Clear political signals to Serbia and Kosovo will remain crucial for EULEX to make a credible and effective contribution to conflict transformation.