Remarks by the High Representative and EU Special Representative for BiH, Christian Schwarz-Schilling at the press briefing following the PIC meeting

Press Conference,




“Europa” press room

Thank you for being here.


PIC Steering Board has just finished
its meeting and we will shortly issue our communiqué outlining the key points of
our discussions.

As I said earlier, our discussions have been extremely useful.

The main areas of discussion were transition and the reform agenda, in
particular those reforms necessary to sign a Stabilisation and Association
Agreement with the European Union.

As you are aware, this was the last meeting of
PIC Steering Board ahead of the discussion in
February next year when Political Directors will meet to review their decision
to close the Office of the High Representative as planned in June

In reviewing their decision to close the OHR, Political Directors would be
assessing carefully the situation in both Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.

Leaders of all political parties represented in the Parliamentary Assembly of
Bosnia and


present at today’s meeting.

Political Directors emphasised to them the importance of building coalitions
and forming governments both to live up to their responsibilities to the
citizens of
and Herzegovina

who elected them and to be able to
enact key reforms for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the
European Union.

More than two months after the 1 October elections, governments at the State
and Federation level are yet to be formed and the reform process is blocked.

Political Directors also urged
Bosnia and Herzegovina

’s political leaders to focus on the
key reforms necessary for the
especially on police reform, since, as the European Commission pointed out, it
will only recommend conclusion of the

once there has been agreement on police reform.

The Police Reform Directorate is currently finalising its report.

Political Directors believed that the proposals developed so far by the
Police Reform Directorate provide a sound basis for real, lasting reform of the
police in line with the three EU principles.

The Steering Board called for constructive talks among the political parties
in order to facilitate the work of the Directorate and adoption of its

Political Directors congratulated

Bosnia and Herzegovina

on its invitation to join NATO’s
Partnership-for-Peace Programme. They also pointed out that PfP membership
brings with it additional obligations and responsibilities.

The authorities of Bosnia and
, especially in Republika Srpska,
must meet their international and
Dayton obligations to cooperate
fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former

This means playing a proactive role in apprehending all indicted war
criminals, especially Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, and in dismantling
their support networks.

We also discussed the importance of constitutional reform to provide the
country with an effective structure that would allow

Bosnia and Herzegovina

to take the decisions necessary to
meet the requirements of Euro-Atlantic integration.

The Steering Board continues to stand behind the early adoption of the
first package of constitutional amendments agreed by the six political
parties in March. This offers a positive first step in a longer-term process
that will help Bosnia and

meet the requirements of European

The Steering Board also expressed support for both my work and that of the
United States to facilitate constitutional reform, and welcomed the commitment
of the European Union and the United States to work together to support a
further phase of constitutional reform.

If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer