Friday, May 23, 2008


WASHINGTON, USA (May 23,2008) – During the second day of his visit to the USA, the Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic held a lecture at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the US capital Washington,yesterday on the topic “Euro Atlantic Integrations of Bosnia: prospects and Challenges” and met with American congressmen and senators.

President Silajdzic talked about progress Bosnia made on its road towards NATO and the EU and pointed out the necessity of further reform processes especially when it comes to the Constitution in order to secure the full membership in all these institutions.

During the meeting with President Silajdzic, member of the Committee for Foreign Policy of the American Congress, Sheila Jackson Lee underlined the importance of continuous engagement of the United States in Bosnia and stated that it is especially important to secure equality of all Bosnian citizens in realizing their political and human rights.

Lee, who visited the Bosnian capital Sarajevo under siege in 1995,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia, expressed her willingness to visit Bosnia in near future along with her colleagues from the US Congress.

Senator James DeMint, deputy chair of the Sub-committee for European Affairs underlined the importance of Bosnia's full membership to NATO and stated that the United States shall continue to fully support Bosnia on its road towards the EU integrations.

Helsinki Committee co-chair and member of the Committee for Foreign Policy of the US Senate, Senator James Cardin underlined the importance of the minority rights protection in Bosnia and stated that he as Senator shall help Bosnia to become a full NATO member as soon as possible.

At the special meeting with congressmen Marilyn Musgrave, Frank Wolf, John Boozman, Bob English, David Weldon, Joe Pitts and Christopher Smith they also discussed the issue of women’s rights in Bosnia, family life and rights of child.

All congressmen and senators unreservedly supported Bosnia's membership to NATO and the EU.


WASHINGTOM, USA (May 23,2008) - The international Community’s strategic goal in Bosnia is to see the country join both NATO and the EU as soon as possible.

Quick progress is therefore needed on meeting the five objectives and two conditions identified by the Peace Implementation Council in February 2008, the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajčák and senior US officials concluded during a series of meetings in Washington.

The United States Under-Secretary for Political Affairs William Burns and Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried expressed the US administration’s full support for the work of the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR).

Lajcak and US officials also welcomed recent progress on the reform agenda, in particular the adoption of police reform laws, which have paved the way for Bosnia to sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU.

The goal of the international community is to ensure a successful transition from OHR to a reinforced EU presence in Bosnia, Lajčák said.

US officials assured that the United States would remain fully engaged and committed to Bosnia throughout and beyond the transition process, the OHR said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 23,2008) – Bosnia currently uses less than 20% of the EU EU pre-accession funds and opening of other funds will depend on the course of negotiations with the EU.

Funds open for Bosnia and registering of projects for non-refundable assets of the EU are the topic of a two day seminar which started yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo with 30 insitutions representatives, private companies and NGOs.

Seminar was organized by the Apriori Communications from Mostar,Bosnia, and Zagreb,Croatia, company RR from Ljubljana,Slovenia, which is a consulting company for project development according to the EU standards.

Participants were informed about the preparation of project registries, documents and cost estimate which is a most complicated part of the project registering.

"Considering that the EU funds are non-refundable, the EU wants every Euro accounted”, stated the coordinator of the Apriori Agency, Josipa Terzic.

She added that these seminars are held at the same time in all countries in the region and that there is a great interest for the access funds of the EU.

Terzic stated that Slovenia uses about 70% of funds, Croatia about 20 and B0snia less than 20%.

Seminar dedicated to documentation and cost accounting will be organized during June in Mostar and Banja Luka.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 23,2008) - Between 19 and 23 May the European Union Force in Bosnia (EUFOR) carried out Map Exercise ‘Determination’ and invited four Bosnian Army officers to participate.

The exercise was controlled EUFOR HQ and rehearsed contingency planning procedures and information flow, for responding to genuine and crisis situations.

The exercise is part of an ongoing training programme for EUFOR and on this occasion the Bosnian Army officers were fully involved in the event, having previously acted as observers at a similar exercise. This reaffirms EUFOR’s intent to use its expertise to cooperate with the Bosnian Armed Forces whenever a suitable opportunity arises, the EUFOR said.

The EUFOR Commander, Major General Villalain said: “This successful exercise was extremely beneficial to all involved and demonstrates the increasing ability for the Bosnian Armed Forces to be fully engaged in the processes of maintaining a safe and secure environment, even if on this occasion it was for exercise purposes and in a fictitious scenario”.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (May 23,2008) – Preliminary results within the first monitoring phase show the high risk of corruption in privatization sector, prior to all because of lack of transparency in all phases of the procedure, as it was concluded in the report of the Transparency International in cooperation with the Bosnian Open Society Fund.

Legal framework in Bosnia with 13 different solutions defining these processes and 13 bodies which deal with privatization process, open great possibilities for corruption and conflict of interest.

During last year only, according to analysis and research of the Transparency International, direct damages caused by non-transparent privatization processes, concession issuing and similar public agreements amount to over half a billion Bosnian Marks.

Ignoring the illegalities in the privatization process by prosecution and law enforcement agencies even in media exposed cases opens a suspicion that this is the case of organized crime with deep roots in highest political circles, believes the Transparency International.