Wednesday, November 28, 2007


BRUSSELS, Belgium (November 28,2007) - The International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajčák met with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Olli Rehn in Brussels, and addressed the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

The European Parliament (EP) is the directly elected parliamentary body of the European Union (EU). Together with the Council of the European Union it forms the bicameral legislative branch of the European Union's institutions.

In his address to parliamentarians, Lajčák provided an assessment of the economic and political situation in Bosnia, and argued that the European integration process is the best way to reform the antiquated systems of the Bosnian administration and government.

“The European Union’s engagement with Bosnia, including its EUPM and EUFOR deployments, has been a success story, and in order to consolidate that success and build on it we must get the country’s political establishment to renew its focus on EU integration”, Lajčák said.

Lajcak also informed the European Parliament on his efforts to improve the functionality of the Bosnian state institutions.

Lajcak said that while the security situation in Bosnia remained stable, there has been little progress in trying to unite the country's ethnically divided police forces, a reform demanded by the European Union as a condition for closer ties.

In the late 1990s, Bosnia was one of the Balkan nations judged to be furthest along in efforts to join the EU. But it slid to rock bottom in 2007 because of a boycott by the political representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia that has blocked EU-demanded reforms in the country.

Bosnia remains the only Southeastern European state without a pre-membership agreement with the European Union.

"For the time being there are no real prospects of restarting the process," Lajcak said. "If we do not act quickly and decisively, problems will spiral out of control. This is a lesson from the early '90s and one which is relevant for the present and for the future."

Bosnia has been overseen by an international administrator since the Dayton Peace Accords ended the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions.Lajcak, who took over in June, is seeking to create a stable Bosnian Government for all Bosnian citizens.

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