Friday, April 11, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 11,2008) – The Bosnian State Parliament adopted yesterday long-disputed police reforms which are the key condition to move the country forward on its path to the EU membership.

Lawmakers of the Lower House of the Bosnian Parliament adopted two police reform bills which passed by 22 votes to 19 still need confirmation by the Upper House, considered a formality.

The bills were the last EU-set hurdle for Bosnia to sign a key pact on closer ties with the 27-nation bloc later this month.

The deputies dismissed all three previous proposals resulting from more then two years of talks about the extent of integration of the separate ethnic police forces and adopted a forth drafted over the past week with the help of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak.

Bosnia's strongest parliamentary and opposition parties,the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP),voted against the bills saying they were just "cosmetic".

Initially, Brussels demanded a rapid unification of Bosnia's separate police forces.

However, the EU has since accepted a reform which envisages setting up seven new state-level police coordination bodies, without immediately affecting the autonomy of police forces of the country's two highly autonomous entities.

A compromise was finally brokered by the highest international envoy to Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak, and passed in a late-Thursday session.

"I want to congratulate all those who made a compromise in the interest of citizens and the state.Better days are ahead of us and also a lot of work related to the SAA signature," Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric said.

The passage of the bills now means that the EU can sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Bosnia - a significant step towards the EU membership.

The adopted bills regulate that the new bodies will assume authority over separate police forces a year after and in a way defined by the Bosnian constitutional reform.

There is no set date for the start of the constitutional reform process.

Current entity police structures are subordinated to the entity governments and closely tied to local political structures.

In December last year, Bosnia initialled a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) essentially a trade and aid pact, seen as the first step towards joining the European Union.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said last month that Brussels expected to sign the SAA with Bosnia in April, pending the implementation of the police reforms.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 11,2008) – Former senior US diplomat, Richard Holbrooke will be visiting Bosnia later this week, to film a documentary with the US Cable News Network, CNN, as well as boost Bosnia’s constitutional reforms, according to Bosnian daily Dnevni Avaz.

In the past two decades, Holbrooke has served as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany and the United Nations, and is considered to one of the principal architects of the Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

He is also believed to be one of the favourites to be the new U.S. Secretary of State if a Democrat candidate wins the 2008 Presidential elections.

Dnevni Avaz said that during his visit to Bosnia, Holbrooke will meet Bosnian and international officials, and especially focus on constitutional reforms.

Bosnia’s administrative setup created by the Dayton Treaty is considered to be too complicated, ineffective and expensive. In 2005 local leaders – under strong international and U.S. support – started negotiating possible constitutional changes, but those talks failed in April 2006.

Despite the failure, most Bosnian and international officials agree that Bosnia needs to start upgrading its constitution if it wants to become a European Union member.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 11,2008) – The Association of parents of children from Sarajevo murdered by the genocidal Serbian aggressor, organized yesterday a session on the occasion of the second anniversary of forming of the Association.

About 10,000 Sarajevans,including 1600 children,were killed by the genocidal Serbian aggressor during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The first public presentation of the monument commemorating the children murdered in Sarajevo by the genocidal Serbian aggressor took place in Veliki Park.The President of the Association’s Council Muhamed Colic said that the monument was designed by Mensud Keco who will attend the annual session and present all the details necessary.

Colic stated that the Sarajevo City Council and Canton are implementing the project. He added that the construction of the monument is keeping up with the pace planned.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 11,2008) – For the purpose of analyzing the activities, overcoming the obstacles and for the purpose of aligning the reform processes at all the faculties, the second advisory will be held in Sarajevo April 11 and 12 on the topic “Higher Education Reform – Implementation of the Bologna Principles at the University of Sarajevo”.

Advisory is organized by the University of Sarajevo and the Sarajevo Canton government. The advisory will focus on analysis of the Bologna Process and Higher Education Reform. It will be an analytical review of the past work.

With participation of over one hundred professors and students, the final collective information will be given in relation to everything that has been done with the reform so far, as well as in relation to the future plans.