Thursday, October 23, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 23,2008) - The Bosnian State Parliament's House of Representatives unanimously supported yesterday the ratification of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Bosnia and the European Union (EU).

The document has yet to be ratified by the Bosnian State Presidency. Niko Lozancic – the president of the lower house – announced that letters would be sent to all the parliaments of EU member countries, urging them to advance the ratification process.

The SAA was signed on June 16 in Luxembourg, and after Bosnia completes the process it is necessary for the SAA to be ratified by all EU member states.


STRASBOURG, France (October 23,2008) - The European Parliament is discussing a resolution urging Bosnia’s leaders to move on with key reforms amid fears of heightened tensions in the country.

According to the European Parliament schedule, the resolution is expected to be voted on today, after the debate which took place yesterday.

“Divisions along ethnic lines are growing, the Office of the High Representative is not using its powers and nobody fears or respects it. Politicians are doing nothing and the situation could not be worse,” said the European Parliament deputy from Germany, Doris Pack, who proposed the resolution.

Speaking at the session in Strasbourg, the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, said Bosnia has made “a significant step forward” by signing a key pre-membership deal called the Stabilisation and Association Agreement on June 16.

“The EU could initial the Stabilisation and Association Agreement last December and sign it in June because the country's political leaders pulled together and reached consensus on the main conditions, particularly police reform. This proves that progress can be achieved and crises overcome, when the political will exists,” Rehn said in his speech.

“However, this consensus has since collapsed and reforms halted,” Rehn said.

“Nationalist rhetoric ahead of the October local elections was a factor in this deterioration. Yet, the country's political problems run much deeper.”

“The lack of a common vision among the country's leaders about its future and the absence of consensus on EU reforms harm its European prospects. There is open disagreement on most political questions, while no sense of urgency or responsibility to overcome this stalemate.”

Rehn welcomed and supported the proposed resolution of the European Parliament, which requires Bosnia's leaders to move on with key reforms. This would enable the transition of the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) into the Office of the EU Special Representative (EUSR) which will be discussed in mid-November by the international powers.

Rehn added that also in November, the EU’s executive arm, the European Commission will publish its Progress Report for Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 23,2008) - The US administration is very serious in its dedication to maintain the current influence in Bosnia, prevent any secession attempts, and stop inflammatory nationalist rhetoric.

That sums up the messages communicated to the leader of the genocidal Serbian fascist creature in Bosnia "RS" Milorad Dodik by the US Ambassador to Bosnia Charles English.

Furthermore, several different "penalties" have allegedly been discussed for the past month in diplomatic circles with the aim of restraining fascist leader of the Serbians living in Bosnia, including his removal from the Bosnian political scene and a travel ban.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 23,2008) - Former International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Paddy Ashdown spoke about Bosnia in the British Parliament's House of Lords yesterday and warned about the worsening state of internal affairs in the country.

Ashdown also asked what the British government plans to do about it, in order to prevent the crisis from escalating.

In Ashdown’s opinion, there has been no progress in Bosnia in the last two years, and it is time for the international community, and especially the EU to wake up, unless it wants to "wake up to another crisis in Bosnia".

Ashdown also asked the British government whether it would allow the leader of the genocidal Serbian fascist creature in Bosnia "RS" Milorad Dodik to reverse the progress made in Bosnia in the last 13 years.



SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 23,2008) - There is no risk concerning the USD 240 million worth of projects the World Bank plans to fund in Bosnia, it was concluded yesterday in the first joint meeting between the World Bank’s representatives and members of the Bosnian government.

Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric said that, out of the total 15 projects, 12 are credit arrangements and three will include grants. 13 projects are already effective, and for the remaining two contracts have yet to be signed, he explained.

The two sides agreed that procedural improvements need to be made and the Public Procurement Act amended, because it often slows down the process.

Spiric could not say who is responsible for Bosnia not using the funds for the prevention of the bird flue, but said that the Bosnian government would attempt to redirect the money to fight Q fever and brucellosis.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 23,2008) - Representatives of the British opposition led by the member of the British Parliament and Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs William Hague, who are visiting Bosnia, met yesterday in Sarajevo with representatives of six Bosnia's ruling parties.

They talked about the current political situation in Bosnia, including issues that are related to forthcoming constitutional reforms and Bosnia's road towards European integrations.

As the HDZ BiH president Dragan Covic said in his press statement the key issue for Bosnia is the constitutional reform. Stating the attitudes of his party on which he informed guests, Covic considers that OHR should stay in BiH until Bosnia gets new constitution and that this task should be completed until the next general elections in order for us not to fall behind on the road towards the European integrations.

SDA attitude is that the Bosnian state institutions should be strengthen in order to solve economical problems of the country in as efficient way as possible and in order for Bosnia to build position of equal collocutor with other European countries and that Bosnia's road towards EU integrations is indisputable: Amir Zukic, SDA general secretary said.

SNSD vice-president Nikola Spiric assessed that the meeting with the representatives of the opposition from the British Parliament was a chance for exchange of opinions on challenges that expect Bosnia in the future.

HDZ 1990 vice-president Martin Raguz said that it is significant that Bosnia is in focus of interests of Great Britain, reminding of its role in the period since the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed.

SBiH vice-president Beriz Belkic considers that it is encouraging that the guests from Great Britain understood that Bosnia needs support from international community on the field of reform of constitution, adoption of EU standards and preservation of integrity and sovereignty.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 23,2008) – The EU police mission in Bosnia, the EU military mission in Bosnia (EUFOR) and the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Central and Eastern Europe will sign today a Memorandum of Understanding on the cooperation in the advancement of the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security on 23 October 2008.

This event will launch a joint project supported and financed by UNIFEM on “Women Building Peace and Human Security”. The project will be implemented in Bosnia together with the Bosnian NGO Zene Zenama.

The UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security was adopted by the General Assembly in 2000. It addresses the impact of war on women, and calls for ensuring women's contribution to conflict resolution. It calls for gender-sensitive security sector reforms and for women’s engagement in peace processes at both political and social level.

The project partners commit to advance these goals by facilitating interaction between community, military and civilian police personnel about human security and conflict resolution. The project is envisaged to last 18 months.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 23,2008) - Top FBIH entity government officials and experts said yesterday that the Bosnian largest telecoms company needed to be urgently privatised before investors lost interest in a time of global recession.

The FBIH entity government two years ago proposed privatising Sarajevo-based BH Telekom but the parliament has blocked the sale amid political bickering.

"The government sees the telecoms privatisation as a generator of economic growth," the FBIH Entity Prime Minister Nedzad Brankovic told a conference on the privatisation of telecoms.

He said the parliament was expected to vote on the government's sell-off plan soon and the government needed the money for infrastructure and development projects,.

BH Telekom, in which the government owns a 90 percent stake, is the larger of two telecoms companies operating in the FBIH entity.

Under the plan, the FBIH entity government plans to sell a 51 percent stake in BH Telekom to a strategic investor and offer a 10 percent stake to investors on an international bourse and up to five percent to the Bosnian citizens on the Sarajevo stock exchange.

Officials put a value of up to 3 billion Bosnian Marks (2 billion US Dollars) on BH Telekom but its share price values it at 1.2 billion. The company made a profit of 162.5 million Bosnian Marks in 2007.