Wednesday, September 19, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 19,2007) – Representatives of 8 leading political parties in Bosnia assembled yesterday at the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) in Sarajevo, for the second round of technical negotiations on Bosnian police reform.

The OHR announced that the participants are expected to approach the negotiations responsibly and constructively, for there is no time to waste if an agreement is to be reached by the end of the month.

Prior to the meeting, representative of the Party of Democratic Progress (PDP), Slobodan Nagradic, stated he has no spectacular expectations at the meeting. He stated that the participants have not been invited to make any judgments, for their mandate is limited. They are only to focus on Lajcak’s proposal.

He added that the participants are to “study” the document, i.e., to see where the points of disagreement between the parties are.

Damir Hadzic, SDP BiH Party representative stated that he is of the opinion that it is important that the most responsible political parties, which are SNSD and SBiH, reach an agreement in 12 days.

If the agreement is not reached, another chance for Bosnia to sign the SAA with the EU will be lost.

SDP BiH will be as constructive as possible at the meeting in order for the agreement to be reached in 12 days’ time, Hadzic said.

"The proposed Police Reform Protocol is based on three-years' efforts by Bosnia's and international officials and experts as well as all documents and positions that have been agreed so far. In addition the Protocol contains proposed solutions to those issues that Bosnia's politicians have not been able to agree on so far. It is a comprehensive document which encompasses everything that has been agreed so far and offers solutions for issues on which agreement has not been reached," OHR/EUSR Director of Communications Frane Maroevic said.

"The Protocol is fair and balanced and should be acceptable to all.Such proposal is unacceptable only to those who aspire to maximalist solutions, ignoring the concept of agreement through compromise, which is the foundation of modern European and world politics. Political bartering with maximalist stances and expecting them to be adopted without any consideration of the situation and positions of others, represents a method that was abandoned in Europe long time ago. Europe is a model of agreement, compromise, respect for all and of ensuring that interests of all citizens are respected," he added.

"With regard to the interpretation of the European principles of police reform, we would like to see the political parties adopting this Protocol instead of interpreting the three EU principles, since that is neighter their business nor their competence. The interpretation of the principles is an exclusive competence of the European Commission and its Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, which he clearly stated during the recent visit of High Representative Lajcak to Brussels," Maroevic said.

"The short time remaining until the end of the month would better be used by the parties to put additional efforts into finding a compromise solution with the view of reaching an agreement, instead of wasting their time on other people's responsibilities and efforts into a media campaign designed to undermine the Protocol," OHR/EUSR Director of Communications said.

"The Protocol on Police Force Reform in Bosnia has the full support of EU High Represenative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana and EU Enlargement Commissiner Ollie Rehn, i.e. of the entire EU, includign the EUPM, that have all confirmed the proposed Protocol was in line with the three EU principles of police force reform," Maroevic concluded.

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