Monday, December 3, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 3,2007) – The EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said he will visit Bosnia today to discuss with the Bosnian Presidency, the Bosnian Government and the most influential party leaders in Bosnia whether there is sufficient agreement on the police reform to initial the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union."This is a measure towards the normalisation of the political situation in the country," Rehn said.

Rehn's announcement, cited by EU Observer,pointed out that Bosnia needed functioning and efficient institutions on state level in order to cope with the key reforms and progress towards the EU membership.

The visit of The EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn to Bosnia was quickly organized after the Bosnian Parliament adopted on Friday new voting rules aimed at streamlining its work, opening the way to defuse the worst political crisis since the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

Bosnia's leaders are set to agree today to push ahead with police reform, removing one obstacle on the road toward European Union membership.

Uniting Bosnia's ethnically divided police forces has been demanded by the European Union as a condition for closer ties. The first part of the reform would include strengthening central police bodies, such as forensic and training services, which span the ethnic divide. Further reform will take place after the Bosnian Constitution is changed.

If agreement on the police reform is reached today, the EU will move ahead with initialing a Stabilization and Association Agreement with Bosnia,an important pre-membership accord,later in the week. Bosnia remains the only Southeastern European state without such an agreement with the EU.

Bosnia's journey toward EU membership will remain long and arduous. Among the Southeastern European nations striving for accession to the 27-nation bloc, only Croatia may be ready to join before the end of the decade, according to an EU report released earlier this month. All the others will need at least five years to prepare themselves economically and politically.

On Friday, political representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia dropped objections to a reform of the Bosnian State Parliament's voting rules, in a step toward ending the most serious political crisis in Bosnia since the end of the 1992-95 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

The leaders of Bosnia's main political parties and the Bosnian State Parliament agreed to support the reform, which was drawn up by the International community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak.

The reforms will change the way a quorum is calculated, to make it more difficult for legislators and cabinet officers to block action simply by not showing up.That tactic was used frequently by the political representatives of the Serbians living in Bosnia, who oppose a stronger Bosnian State Government out of concern it would erode the powers of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia the "RS".

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