International Community Remains Firmly Engaged in BiH

The political situation in BiH remains of great concern agreed the High Representative and EU Special Representative in BiH Valentin Inzko and Head of OSCE Mission to BiH Ambassador Gary D. Robbins during an exchange of views with democracy experts of the Committee of Ministers Rapporteur Group at the Council of Europe (CoE) in Strasbourg today.

Describing the political situation in the country HR/EUSR Inzko noted that seven months after the October elections EU and NATO integration processes in Bosnia and Herzegovina are at a standstill, the state is running on temporary financing and there is no prospect of the state-level government being formed. It is important that the International Community, including the CoE, remains “firmly engaged in BiH to prevent deepening crisis”, the HR/EUSR said.

Robbins told the Group that examines the extent to which BiH fulfils the commitments made upon accession to the Council of Europe that “in this political context there is little prospect of the significant break-through required for the Sejdic-Finci ruling to be implemented“.

Robbins also noted the recent improvements of the regional political climate. He added however that individual war crime cases still affect bilateral relations, emphasizing that this issue needs to be resolved so that the reconciliation process can take its proper course.

Inzko stressed that despite the current stagnation and the downward trend over the last five years, progress is possible, and welcomed the fact that the European Union has developed tailor-made tools so that the new reinforced EU presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina can act effectively to help BiH stakeholders overcome the present impasse.

As a result of the credible position of the International Community RS President Dodik has now committed the RSNA to undoing its anti-Dayton acts of 13 April. The High Representative and EU Special Representative warmly welcomed the engagement of Lady Ashton in this issue and emphasized that it should be viewed as clear sign of the EU determination to ensure the Peace Agreement in BiH is upheld.

Robbins expressed appreciation for the recent engagement of Baroness Ashton in BiH, but stressed that both the planned RS referendum and the extensive “conclusions” of the RSNA must be withdrawn, since the latter go to the foundation of Dayton.

HR/EUSR Inzko and Ambassador Robbins thanked the Council of Europe for the election monitoring activities in October 2010 and expressed their hope the CoE would be monitoring the local elections in BiH next year.