Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/bosnia and Herzegovina : Commission Backs Lajcak's Administrative Reforms in Bosnia

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/bosnia and Herzegovina : Commission Backs Lajcak's Administrative Reforms in Bosnia

Article excerpt

The EU's Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, expressed on 7 November "full support" for the efforts of the Union's Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Miroslav Lajcak, to overcome the political impasse which currently holds up reforms in BiH and undermines the country's progress towards EU membership. Lajcak came under fire in BiH for introducing on 19 October a set of reforms to the decision making processes of the government and the parliament aiming at speeding it up and invigorating the reform effort. This move has irked politicians in Sarajevo, who regarded it as an attempt to limit their power and prompted the Bosnian Serbs' parliament to adopt a resolution condemning Lajcak's administrative reforms as contravening the 1995 Dayton peace agreements, which ended the 1992-1995 conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 12-point parliamentary resolution also called for sharply curbing Lajcak's powers.

Rehn urged all political forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the politicians of the Republika Srpska in particular, to live up to the commitments undertaken in the declaration signed on 28 October in Mostar. The Bosnian Muslim, Croat, and Serb leaders agreed there in principle on a police reform, which would meet EU requirements for a single force, financed from the central budget and ostensibly free from political interference. "The ruling parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina should now build on the declaration adopted in Mostar recently and move the country back on the European agenda. …

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