Thursday, July 10, 2008


BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (July 10,2008) - The Slovenian Foreign Affairs Minister Dimitrij Rupel said today that Bosnia must continue police reform.He told Banja Luka daily Nezavisne Novine that Bosnia had to effect constitutional changes in order to remove barriers to the decision-making process.

Rupel said that his country was satisfied with the results of its EU presidency, especially because Bosnia signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU.

Asked whether constitutional reform in Bosnia would be necessary for Sarajevo’s further progress towards EU membership, the minister said that constitutional reform “is not in itself a condition for EU membership,” but that the “constitution could make Bosnia’s road towards the EU harder if there was obstruction of the decision-making process or further problems linked to the functionality of the state system.”

He stated that the EU expects police reform to continue in Bosnia, adding that it was necessary to create a functional police system at state level, and compatibility in terms of organization and cooperation as elements of a single police structure, without which, he said, “there cannot be a successful fight against organized crime.”

Rupel said that he was optimistic as regards the completion of all conditions needed for the closure of the Office of the International community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR), adding that the election campaign ahead of the October local elections would be a chance for calm and argumentative campaigning to show that the country was on the road to closing down the OHR.

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