Transcript of the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference

OHR, Mario Brkic

EUFOR, Karen Halsey



Slap in the face to the
people ofBosnia and

It is now three weeks since the High Representative urged members of the BiH
Parliamentary Assembly to use the time before the October elections to show
voters they can deliver reforms that will help create jobs and improve living

Parliament has failed to meet since the High Representative’s speech.

This failure — in a country where essential services are stretched or
non-existent, where the condition of roads and houses and schools are appalling,
and where whole families have to survive on 300 marks a month — is nothing
short of a slap in the face to the people of
Bosnia and

The inescapable conclusion which many voters will draw from Parliament’s
inaction is that parliamentarians do not care.

“Parliament is the highest decision making body in a democracy,” the High
Representative said today. “If Parliament stops working, democracy stops

“Parliamentarians should never cavalierly deprive citizens of their
democratic right. I expect all those responsible for the present state of
affairs — party leaders, parliamentary managers, and delegates — to take
note,” the High representative said today.

The High Representative noted that the hubris of parliamentarians has
jeopardised the prospect of enacting the Higher Education Law, which will
harmonise standards for courses and exams across all the universities in BiH and
give students from this country real possibilities of completing part of their
studies at universities in other parts of Europe.

It has also placed in jeopardy the prospect of enacting the Law on
Obligations, which will modernise the commercial code and thus encourage
investment and help create jobs; the Pharmaceuticals Law, which will create the
conditions in which medicines available in BiH can be properly inspected for
quality and competitively priced; and the Salary Law, which will harmonise the
pay of civil servants to keep it within limits that the country can afford. It
will also jeopardise amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code, which will
strengthen the judiciary and ensure that the successful transfer of cases from
the ICTY can continue.


High Representative meets German Minister of Interior

The High Representative is to meet with the German Minister for the Interior
Dr. Wolfgang Schaeuble this morning and Christoph Heusgen, foreign policy
adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel this afternoon.

On the second day of a two-day visit to


, the
High Representative will highlight the progress that BiH has made in reforms
aimed at strengthening the rule of law. He will also argue that the European
Union needs to relax visa requirements for specific target groups in BiH,
including businesspeople, students and scientists.

We will have more details from these meetings later today.


SDHR to attend Kid’s Festival Workshop

The Senior Deputy High Representative, Peter Bas-Backer, will attend the
Third Kids’ Festival in
Sarajevo today and
participate in a  “Meet the
VIP” workshop. Ambassador
Bas-Backer will take questions from young people, aged between
12 and 18, on issues such as education reform,
employment prospects, the mandate and role of the OHR, and
the future of Bosnia and

Media are kindly invited to cover this workshop, which will
begin on Tuesday, 13 June
at 15.00 in Skenderija, Western Foyer, Third



No statement.