Wednesday, October 31, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 31,2007) – Complicated structure of the Bosnian Constitution which is a result of the Dayton Agreement was necessary because the war needed to be stopped. However, now is the time to start building functional, efficient and representative Bosnian state institutions which will meet the needs of all Bosnian citizens,the Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis’s stated yesterday, addressing the Bosnian Parliament.

Apart from the parliamentary delegates, the Bosnian Presidency members also attended the session, as well as the Bosnian Council of Ministers and the international community's representatives in Bosnia.

The Council of Europe Secretary emphasized that the Venetian Commission is probably the best team of constitutional experts in the world and that the Commission described the Bosnian Constitution as insufficient.

”Competences of the Bosnian state institutions are insufficient to enable the country’s normal functioning, both the sense of domestic and foreign policy”, Davis said.

He emphasized that all constitutional decrees related to the composition of the Bosnian Presidency and the House of Peoples are discriminatory and that that is the reason why they pose a breech of the European Human Rights Convention.Bosnia’s territorial organization is also far too complicated and needs to be reconstructed,the Council of Europe Secretary stated.

Davis said that the 2006 package met some of the demands and, in that sense, was the first step in the process.

”Sadly, the 2006 package was not adopted”, Davis said.

He added that the existing bosnian Constitution contains many lacks which give opportunity to obstruct the decision making processes and that obstructions of the kind were also made in the past.

For that reason, Davis said, the International community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak passed huis decision on October 19. The ones who do not like the decision should pass the decisions of their own thus making the HR’s decisions invalid.

The Council of Europe Secretary greeted the police reform declaration signed on Sunday in Mostar by the leaders of 6 political parties. However, he demanded the implementation of the declaration. He fully supported the Lajcak’s efforts of making Bosnia move ahead. He however warned the domestic politicians that the country’s progress lies solely in their hands.

Davis told the Bosnian Parliament members that they are yet to fulfill their obligations towards the Council of Europe, especially keeping in mind that several important international documents need to be ratified.

Davis commented the issue of education in Bosnia and emphasized that domestic politicians need to fund a way of keeping the policy outside of the educational sector.

”The Council of Europe cannot and will not accept any form of ethnic segregation in schools”, Davis stated in his address.

The Bosnian Parliament’s House of Representatives’ Speaker Ilija Filipovic stated that the Bosnian Parliament will carefully analyze Davis’s expose. He expressed hope that the current political crisis in Bosnia will be overcome.

”We can reach a solution only through dialogue”, Filipovic said.

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