Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bulwark against any return to violence – it has a clear future in Euro-Atlantic structures, in both the European Union and NATO, which will make it impossible that it should ever be attacked or disintegrate in war again.
The High Representative/EU Special Representative, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, made this point in his weekly column, published in the BiH press today.
Noting that scenes of violence from around the world, including Lebanon, might prompt some BiH citizens to wonder if the same thing could happen here, the High Representative/EU Special Representative pointed out that unlike Lebanon – and unlike Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990s – Bosnia and Herzegovina today stands on the verge of both a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union and membership of NATO’s Partnership-for-Peace (PfP) Programme.
In an article published simultaneously in Dnevni avaz, Nezavisne novine and Večernji list the High Representative/EU Special Representative emphasised that the international strategy in BiH is based on integration not disengagement.
“The international presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina is changing, but the international community is not withdrawing from this country,” he wrote. “ Bosnia and Herzegovina is gradually being brought into the very institutions that have built and ensured peace in Europe for the past 60 years. Bosnia and Herzegovina is being assisted on its way towards Euro-Atlantic integration by the European Commission, by EUFOR, by the EU Police Mission, by NATO and by my Office, both in my capacity as High Representative and as EU Special Representative.”
The High Representative/EU Special Representative added that the Euro-Atlantic enlargement policy of the last decade “has clearly helped head off a plethora of problems and disputes that might otherwise have plagued the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Though Bosnia and Herzegovina is a special case, it can and should benefit to an even greater degree.”