Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/bosnia and Herzegovina : Police Reform under Heavy Fire in Sarajevo

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/bosnia and Herzegovina : Police Reform under Heavy Fire in Sarajevo

Article excerpt

Although welcomed by the European Union "as a step into the right direction," the police reform adopted last month in Bosnia and Herzegovina is under heavy fire in Sarajevo. The Bosnian Ministry of Security, which is responsible for the implementation of the laws, is strongly disappointed with the final version of the reform, which initially was aiming at full unification of the country's two separate entity police forces.

"It would be better not to adopt any reform than to agree on a document which further complicates the existing police structure in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Tarik Sadovic, Bosnia's minister of security said, on 5 May, at a press meeting with a group of Brussels-based journalists taking part in a study trip to the country.

The final version of the reform is not satisfactory for the EU Police Mission (EUPM) either, which was in charge of providing advice on the content of this document. "This is not a police reform. This is what we could achieve. We had to be realistic," General Vincenzo Coppola, head of the EUPM mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina said, on 5 May. "We were hoping to achieve 100%, but we ended up achieving around 5%," he added. Coppola admitted, however, that the current version of the reform "is a first step leading into the right direction". "Despite our willingness, we have realised we can not change the fragmented structure of the police forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Therefore we decided to accept the reality and focus on better coordination of the 15 different police structures that exist in the country," he concluded. …

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