OHR’s Statement at the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference

BiH’s Recovery and Euro Integration Must
Be Viewed in Regional Context

The High Representative, Christian Schwarz-Schilling,
will be back in

Bosnia and Herzegovina

this evening. As you know, during
his summer break the High Representative took part in talks chaired by Stability
Pact Coordinator Erhard Busek in


aimed at resolving
outstanding issues related to the implementation of Free Trade Agreements signed
between BiH and its immediate neighbours.

The High Representative has repeatedly stated his support for the Stability
Pact process and has emphasized on many occasions that it is essential to view

Bosnia and Herzegovina

‘s postwar recovery and integration
in Euro-Atlantic structures in the regional context. As he pointed out to a
Stability Pact meeting in


in May, “We can all get rich together or we can all stay poor together. It is
simply an illusion to believe that certain economies can prosper while
neighbouring economies stagnate.”


Danka Polovina_Mandić, Dnevni List:

Kevin, has any progress been made as a result of the talks the
HighRepresentativeparticipatedin, with regard to the problems concerning the
Free Trade Agreements signed between BiH and its immediate neighbours,
specifically Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro?   Were any concrete
results achieved which would help resolve the problems?

Kevin Sullivan, OHR:

That is a good question and it is no wonder I am incompetent to answer. The
High Representative participated in an informal series of talks. The talks are
continuing and you would have to address that question to the relevant

What I would say is that the OHR has repeatedly stressed the importance of
ensuring that the opportunities that have arisen as a result of the Free Trade
Agreements are properly exploited to the advantage of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This is very much a win-win situation. In the long run free trade promises to
deliver investment and jobs. That has to be kept at the forefront of every
consideration, and the issue now is to resolve hiccups in establishing a free
trade area in South East Europe, so that we can go over this initial
establishing period and the citizens in this country and in neighbouring
countries can enjoy the benefits.

Dragomir Simović, SRNA:

I am not sure whether anyone has already asked the OHR to comment on this
issue, as I was on holiday. Therefore, could you please comment on the lawsuit
filed by the District of Brčko against the Chairman of the Governing Board of
the Indirect Taxation Authority and the Director of the ITA Governing Board?

Kevin Sullivan, OHR:

Well, first of all in regards specifically to the legal procedure which has
been launched – this is not something which OHR can comment on but we have
stated publicly that the ITA is the appropriate authority who decide on issues
related to the allocation of revenue and the OHR is confident that the Governing
Board can resolve these issues in a way that is equitable and is to the benefit
of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that includes the citizens of the
District of Brčko, as well as the two entities.

Are there anymore questions? Okay, thanks very much.