Thursday, December 6, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 6,2007) - The British Ambassador to Bosnia Matthew Rycroft welcomed the initialling of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union.

“This is a big step forward for Bosnia and its citizens and we are glad that Bosnia can now continue its path towards the EU membership”, Ambassador Rycroft said.

“The next steps will be to sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and successfully implement it, and then for it to be ratified by the parliaments of EU member states. This will entirely depend on the progress in the implementation of key reforms such as police and public administration reform, as well as full cooperation with the Tribunal in the Hague. Great Britain fully supports the aspirations of Bosnia for the EU membership. I hope that the political leaders will do all in their power to fulfil the remaining obligations and ensure a prosperous and secure future in the European family for all Bosnian citizens”, Ambassador Rycroft said.


BRCKO, Bosnia (December 6,2007) - Brcko Supervisor Raffi Gregorian issued an Order immediately suspending payments of salaries and all remunerations to the members of Brcko District Government and councilors of the Assembly of Brcko District for violating the Brcko District Statute by failing to adopt the 2008 Brcko District Budget by the required deadline.

The Supervisor is disappointed that the Brcko District Government, after timely submission of the proposed budget plan by October 1st, 2007, and after public discussions had been held, decided only last week to introduce more than 150 amendments, including a significant revised projection of revenues, thus in essence presenting an entirely new budget,said the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR).

The Brcko District Government collectively failed to prepare an accurate and reliable draft budget for 2008 and the Councilors of Brcko District Assembly have collectively failed to review and adopt it in a timely manner,the OHR said.

The Supervisor Gregorian warned both the Brcko District Government and the Assembly more than two months ago that he would take such action if they violated the Statute.

Gregorian regrets that he has had to intervene because of the apparent lack of understanding by the elected bodies of governance for the importance of a timely and orderly discussion and adoption of the budget and for their disrespect of the Statute.He urges the Assembly to adopt the 2008 budget as soon as possible,the OHR said.


TIRANA, Albania (December 6,2007) - The Bosnian Ministry of Communications and Transport delegation lead by Deputy Minister Veselin Poljasevic participated at a conference on development of the basic regional transport network in the Southeastern Europe in the Albanian capital Tirana.

The conference, organized by the European Commission and the Southeastern Europe’s Commission and the Southeastern European Secretariat for Transport Observance, assembled ministers or deputy ministers of transport in the Southeastern Europe, namely, from the following countries: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia,Kosovo. Montenegro and Serbia, as well as the European Commission, World Bank, the European Investment Bank and European Reconstruction and Development bank.

The conference was held in accordance with the conclusions presented in the Memorandum of Understanding for Development of the Southeastern Europe’s Transport Network Development, signed by all the governments June 11 2004 in Luxembourg, as well as the European commission.

During the conference the Southeastern European Ministers of Transport signed in Tirana,Albania, the Addendum of Memorandum of Understanding on SE Europe Regional Transport Network Development in the Railways Sector, together with a resolution.

The Addendum is a step forward in the reaching of goal aimed to ensure regional cooperation in the railways sector. Implementation of legal and institutional frame for opening markets of railway transport in the Southeastern Europe is the goal.

European commission’s offices will supervise the progress estimates in the sense of fulfillment of goals defined in the Addendum.

The Bosnian Deputy Traffic and Communications Minister Poljasevic talked in his expose about the activities taken in the sector of road, railways and water transport in Bosnia.

He added that a policy is being developed, as well Action Plan and transport development strategy. These documents will enable long-term planning and investments in all sectors of transport.

He also emphasized that the basic principles of the EU guidelines related to creation of a unique transport market represent a permanent transport market in Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 6,2007) - Leaders of the Bosnian Jewish Community appealed for help locating Bosnians who aided Jews during World War II and have not been recognized.

The search is aimed at locating people who offered help and documenting their stories, said the Bosnian Jewish Community. The effort is part of a broader project to record the lives of Bosnia's Muslim and Jewish communities over the past centuries.

Appearing on the Bosnian State TV, project leader Eli Tauber invited people to contact the Jewish Community or the Bosnian Institute for the Research of Crimes Against Humanity, which is also involved in the project.

"This project is extremely important nowadays when Bosnia is full of negative examples of who hates whom. It sends a message of coexistence and we want to show to all peoples in Bosnia that the life of one nation with another is sacred and has to be preserved," said Muhamed Mesic, of the institute, on Bosnian TV.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 6,2007) - The Bosnian Central Bank said it would increase the mandatory reserve requirement for commercial banks in January 2008 to 18 percent from the current 15 percent to prevent a further credit boom.

"The October credit growth, the largest in the last two years, has forced us to tackle the mandatory reserve requirement," the Bosnian Central Bank Governor Kemal Kozaric told a news conference.

"We don't expect the measure to stop credit growth, but to slow it down," Kozaric said.

The data shows commercial banks disbursed some 11.24 billion Bosnian Marks (8.45 billion USD) worth of loans in the January to October 2007 period.

Of the total, some 5.4 billion went to private citizens, 4.8 billion to the private sector and 658 million to public companies, Kozaric said.

"This all proves we had to make such a decision in order to prevent that the high liquidity of commercial banks and the rise in loans influence the future stability of the banking sector", Kozaric said.

He added the move "is a signal for commercial banks to be more cautious in their credit expansion."


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 6,2007) – The European Union Police Mission highly welcomes Tuesday's initialing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union,said the Head of the European Union Police Mission in Bosnia Brigadier General Vincenzo Coppola.

Coppola stated in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo that by adopting the Action Plan for Police Reform Bosnia's politicians have created a historic turning point for the future of Bosnia.

“I particularly welcome the fact that the Action Plan on Police Reform was brought in line with the EU principles as was confirmed yesterday by the decision of the Bosnian Government,” said General Coppola.

“This is an encouraging message by politicians in Bosnia towards the establishment of a modern, professional and multi-ethnic police structure.”

The EU Police Mission has worked diligently to achieve this goal and help Bosnia on its path to the European Union.he said.

“The Action Plan foresees legislative and structural harmonization within certain deadlines,” said General Coppola.

“I had a first consultative meeting with the Bosnian Minister of Security yesterday and we both agreed that an enormous task lies ahead of us. The EU Police Mission will continue to be a key stakeholder in the upcoming period and assist the local authorities in the implementation of police reform,” Coppola said.