Schwarz-Schilling: Ownership Key to Lasting Stability

The Office of the High Representative needs to stay open for another year to take forward the process of reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the High Representative and EU Special Representative, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, wrote in a newspaper article published today, adding that the international community should continue to work towards the concept of ownership.

With the end of the Dayton mandate in sight, it had been important for the international community to adopt “a less interventionist policy” during the past year, Mr Schwarz-Schilling wrote in a guest commentary in the German daily Die Welt. Although not all objectives had been achieved during the past year, the ownership concept was key to ensure lasting stability and clear the country’s path to the European Union.

“A time-limited extension of the Dayton mandate will allow us to deal with possible upheavals resulting from the Kosovo status decisions, and to take forward the reform process in the country with the necessary determination,” the High Representative and EU Special Representative explained.

“My first contacts with the new authorities have strengthened my conviction that there is a strong will on all sides to carry on with reforms,” Mr Schwarz-Schilling wrote. Calling on the international community to show a clear sense of purpose in the coming weeks, he warned that a return to an obsolete interventionist policy was doomed to failure.

“Only patience and strong international resolve will lead Bosnia and Herzegovina into full ownership and pave its way to Europe,” the High Representative and EU Special Representative concluded.

The text of the High Representative/EU Special Representative’s article can be accessed at and