Friday, May 9, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 9,2008) – The International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak had a meeting in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo with representatives of the Bosnian NGOs (non-governmental organizations) assembled in the coalition “Responsibility”.

All of them are signatories of the petition submitted to the Bosnian State Parliament calling for an accelerated progress of Bosnia towards the EU membership.

Lajcak told the press that the essence of association processes is not the date of signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA), but readiness of the Bosnian state institutions to respond to the obligations arising from the process.

With convictions that Bosnia will sign SAA with the European Union on May 26, Lajcak said that a serious process will be initiated by that act, a process which will show readiness of responsibility for other steps that will follow the day after signing of the SAA, so that the time is not wasted again.

In that context, Lajcak encouraged representatives of NGO sector to personally contribute the process and to act as “consciousness of the society, as a public institutions’ control and as the citizens’ voice.

On behalf of the coalition, President of the Bosnian Helsinki Committee Srdjan Dizdarevic emphasized that the Bosnian state institutions need to open themselves towards the initiatives coming from the NGO sector.

He especially underlined the need of strengthening of responsibility of the elected officials, as well as of acceleration of the EU association processes. He added that the NGO sector is anticipating certain demands from Brussels, including the reforms that need to be implemented in that sense.

They agreed that dialogue should continue in relation to the issues discussed. They emphasized determination for Bosnia’s EU perspective.

At the same time, it was agreed that the NGO sector will have full support of the Office of the International Community's High Representatives in Bosnia (OHR).

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