Tuesday, October 28, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 28,2008) - The upper house of the Bosnian State Parliament approved yesterday the going into force of a pre-membership agreement with the European Union (EU), paving the way for its EU membership.

The Bosnian State Parliament's House of People gave the consent for ratification of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA), signed in June by Bosnia and the European Union.The SAA was approved on Oct. 22 by the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Bosnian Parliament.

Under the Bosnian Constitution, the SAA has to be ratified by the Bosnian State Presidency as well.

The adoption of the SAA in the Bosnian State Parliament is a prerequisite for its ratification in EU countries.The SAA, if properly implemented, is regarded as the first rung on the long path towards the membership of the 27-member bloc.

Bosnia completed the SAA negotiations with the European Union in November2006 and the document was initialed last December.

The European Parliament in October adopted a resolution, calling on EU countries to ratify the SAA with Bosnia as soon as possible.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 28,2008) - Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), issued a statement today congratulating Brigadier-General Stefan Feller on his appointment as the new Head of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia (EUPM).

Feller, who was until recently the Head of the "Conduct of Operations" Unit in the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC) at the Council, succeeds Brigadier-General Vincenzo Coppola at EUPM on 1st November 2008:

"Mr Feller's excellent policing background, his international experience as Police Commissioner in the United Nations Mission in the Kosovo (UNMIK) and his responsibilities as Head of the "Conduct of Operations" Unit makes him most suitable for this position. He can count on my full support and that of the European Union as a whole in carrying out his new duties.

Through EUPM, the EU is making a key contribution to the establishment of a sustainable, professional and multiethnic police service in Bosnia and therefore to bringing Bosnia closer to the European Union. Hard work, patience and determination will be fundamental in fighting organised crime and establishing the rule of law, in accordance with the highest European and international standards.

I would like to express my gratitude to Brigadier-General Vincenzo Coppola for his dedication and work as Head of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia," Solana said.


THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (October 28,2008) - A new proposed indictment against former leader and creator of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia "RS" and one of the masterminds of the genocide against the Bosnian people,Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic has been discussed at a status conference held at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Prosecutor Alan Tiger informed the Court that Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic has received most of the indictment-related documents, and the rest will be given to him by the end of this week. He also said that there is no document that will be unknown to the indictee.

The Hague prosecution submitted the new indictment against Serbian war criminal on September 23, but he received the translation only on October 27.

At a pre-trial hearing, Judge Iain Bonomy rejected Serbian war criminal's complaint that the process was going too fast.

The judge said the proceedings had gone virtually nowhere since the last hearing in July.

Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic has chosen to defend himself, but complained he had not yet assembled a legal team to advise him.

"I don't have the necessary resources, I don't have a defence team," Serbian fascist said.

"With the speed with which matters are proceeding... I am afraid that I will be in an even less equal position and I'd like you to be aware of that."

However, Judge Bonomy rejected his argument, saying it was because of his decision to run his own defence that he was not able to keep up.

"It's your own choice, as you know very well, that you should represent yourself and I'm afraid that carries particular problems which you have been told about repeatedly," the judge said.

Correspondents say the judge is anxious not to let Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic emulate the late Serbian fascist leader Slobodan Milosevic, who dragged his genocide trial out for four years before he died of a heart attack in 2006.

Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic was arrested in July this year after 13 years of hiding from justice. The Prosecution at The Hague considers him guilty of genocide, expulsions, deportation, and inhumane acts against Bosnian civilians committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 28,2008) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is investing in the largest infrastructure project in Bosnia to date by lending 180 million Euros to the state of Bosnia to construct key sections of the Trans-European Corridor Vc.

A key transport artery linking Bosnia with the rest of Europe, Corridor Vc starts in Budapest, Hungary and ends in the Adriatic Port of Ploce in Croatia. It runs north to south through the centre of Bosnia, and is the most strategically important link for regional trade and economic development.

The 180 million Euros EBRD finance is part of an overall 480 million Euros investment in the priority highway sections on Corridor Vc, which will be co-financed with the European Investment Bank. The priority sections include a 15.2 km section from Drivusa to Kakanj, 18.9km from Vlakovo to Tarcin, 21.4km from Pocitelj to southern border with Croatia and 10.9km from Odzak to the northern border with Croatia.

As part of the project, the EBRD is also providing institutional support to the recently established highway directorate (FBHMD) and for the development of subsequent sections of Corridor Vc using private finance.

Technical assistance is being provided by the donors of the EBRD-Western Balkans Fund* to the amount of 500,000 Euros for institutional support, 80,000 Euros by the Central European Initiative for preparation of a resettlement action plan and a 500,000 Euros by EU’s Infrastructure Preparation Facility for project implementation.

Signing the project, Peter Reiniger, EBRD’s Business Group Director for Central Europe and the southeastern Europe, said that as the largest infrastructure investment in Bosnia so far, Corridor Vc will play a key role not only in providing a financial boost to the development of the Bosnian economy, but it will also have significant impact on the region. As well as connecting towns and cities, the improved road infrastructure will support trade and development and make the country and the region more attractive for investment, Mr Reiniger added.

Dragan Vrankic, the Bosnian Minister of Finance and Treasury, said that the introduction of a fuel levy for highways, which already exists in some countries in the region, as a source of repayment, will not only enable debt to be serviced for this project, but also attract private investors for the construction of the remaining sections.

Sue Barrett, EBRD’s Director for Transport, emphasized the Bank’s continued commitment to supporting the development of the transport sector in Bosnia and noted the significant impact this latest road project will have on institutional reform and encouraging greater involvement of the private sector in improving the country’s road network.

Bozo Ljubic, the Bosnian Minister of Communications and Transport, emphasized that this project is a major step in Bosnia’s integration into the regional transport network and that it demonstrates the ability of Bosnia to embark upon large scale investments in the context of the EU accession.

To date, the Bank has invested more than 270 million Euros in the transport sector in Bosnia, including 23 million Euros for post-war emergency road repair in 1996, 70 million Euros for the construction of a key regional road network in 2004 and 75 million Euros for road maintenance and rehabilitation of a key primary road network in 2007.

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Bosnia, having invested 779 million Euros in 70 projects in a number of important sectors, including national and municipal infrastructure, the financial sector and the private corporate sector, including small and medium size enterprises.