Transcript of the International Agencies’ Joint Press Conference

to DiscussBosnia and

with Chancellor

The High Representative and EU Special Representative, Christian
Schwarz-Schilling, is meeting this week with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel,
who took over the Presidency of the European Union on 1 January.

The meeting with Chancellor Merkel, which takes place on Thursday morning, is
the highlight of a two-day visit to

Berlin for
discussions with senior German decision-makers about the situation in

Bosnia and Herzegovina

. In the course of this visit, Mr
Schwarz-Schilling will also be meeting with Reinhard Silberberg, the State
Secretary at the German Foreign Ministry, as well as other high-ranking
politicians and officials.



visit is the first
of a series of visits to key capitals in advance of the next meeting of the
Peace Implementation Council (PIC) on 26 and 27 February at which the PIC will
review its decision of to close the Office of the High Representative at the end
of June this year.

Over the next four weeks, Mr Schwarz-Schilling will also be visiting
Brussels,  Moscow and
Washington, as well as other Contact Group capitals, for
discussions on the situation in Bosnia and

Following these discussions as well as talks with key stake-holders in

Bosnia and Herzegovina

, the High Representative and EU
Special Representative will prepare an assessment, which will serve as the basis
for decision at the February PIC meeting.




Following the recent opposing statements given to the media by the leader of
the SDP party as well as several other individuals concerning constitutional
reform and the continuation of the talks, does the Office of the High
Representative have any comments on this change of view –that the constitutional
reforms agreed upon in April last year should now be rejected?


The position held by the Office of the High Representative concerning this
issue has not changed, however the agreement on constitutional changes, that is
the actual adoption or rejection of those changes is a matter the political
leaders of Bosnia
and Herzegovina
must deal with. We sincerely
hope that the constitutional reforms will be adopted. When and in which form? –
well, that is, again, up to the political leaders in
Bosnia and


There have been announcements that this time the High Representative will
take a more active role in the constitutional reform negotiations. Will this


Well, it will come to this. The High Representative did say this and he will
get involved, however not until, so to say, the time is right. Right now what
first needs to be done is to form the governments, which should start working
and then, of course, begin working on the process of constitutional reform,
which in fact is an integral part of the agreement reached between the political
parties: to work on coming up with a constitutional solution.  Therefore,
when the time comes we will talk about the role the High Representative will
take in the talks on constitutional reform.