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Is Bosnia and Herzegovina Making Progress Toward Its Euro-Atlantic Path?

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So what's blocking the application for EU candidacy?

Highlighting its commitment to support Bosnia and Herzegovina's aspirations to integrate into the European Union and NATO, the United States of America outlined challenges that impede the country's the country from applying for EU candidacy.

In her remarks during the Security Council Open Debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Deputy Permanet Representative Rosemary A. DiCarlo says US is coommitted to support the country's irreversibly moving toward its Euro-Atlantic path.

However, Ms. DiCarlo indicates that there are factors that need to be addressed by Bosnia and Herzegovina to fully realized its
aspiration to be integrated in European Union and NATO.

So what's blocking the application for EU candidacy?

According to Ms. DiCarlo, politicians throughout the country seem more interested in putting their own personal political agendas above the interests of the citizens they were elected to represent.

Gravestones at the Srebrenica Genocide memorial. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
She says in the Federation entity, ongoing efforts to reshuffle the governing coalition have distracted from the Euro-Atlantic reform agenda.

The European Court of Human Rights' 2009 judgment in the Sejdic-Finci case remains unimplemented, violating the human rights of non-constituent peoples and blocking the country from applying for EU candidacy, she added.

She indicates that unless the issue is resolved soon, Bosnia and Herzegovina risks holding elections next year in violation of the judgment.

In addition, the country still needs to register defense properties to meet NATO's condition for activating the Membership Action Plan, a process that is being obstructed by politicians in Republika Srpska.

She notes that Bosnia and Herzegovina's lack of progress is all the more visible in the context of its neighbors, all of whom are rapidly moving ahead toward Euro-Atlantic integration.

Reports say the countries that make up the former Yugoslavia have separately entered negotiations with the EU. The countries are reportedly currently in different stages of integrating the organisation - all of them except.

Other factor?

Ms. DiCarlo cites that it has been more than five long years since the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board adopted the five objectives and two conditions for the closure of the Office of the High Representative (OHR).

However, the so-called 5+2 consists of issues that OHR is uniquely qualified and authorized to oversee and which the political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina could easily have completed in 2008 and propelled the state on its way to EU and NATO membership.

What happened instead is, a number of political leaders have focused their energies on deconstructing or undermining Dayton and the various institutions and laws established since 1995 that Bosnia and Herzegovina needs both for the common good of the people and to function as part of a modern Europe.

She emphasizes that the local authorities have a legal obligation to respect the authority of the High Representative and the Dayton framework.

The parliament building in the centre of Sarajevo burns after being hit by tank fire during the siege in 1992. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Yet Republika Srpska officials have persistently undermined state institutions and made statements calling into question Bosnia and Herzegovina's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Ms. Di Carlo said.

In addition, the Federation, local parties in Mostar have failed to meet their obligation to implement the November 10, 2011, Constitutional Court ruling on the electoral system. 

"These actions disregard the most fundamental elements of the Bosnian Constitution and the Dayton Agreement." - Ms. DiCarlo

US committed to seeing Bosnia and Herzegovina move past its troubled past toward a thriving future.

The US looks forward to working with the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the international community to see the Dayton Peace Agreement fully implemented and the country irreversibly moving toward its Euro-Atlantic path.

US and EU Share Vision of Peaceful, Stable Bosnia-Herzegovina

Underlining its strong joint commitment to the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the United States of America has joint commitment with European Union for a stable, prosperous, democratic, and multiethnic Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The US believes joining the European Union and NATO offers the country the best path to lasting stability and prosperity.

The United States stands with the people in urging that the leaders do the business of the people and move forward.

The United States is very proud of its relationship with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Both countries were partners through the Dayton process, worked together to repair infrastructure destroyed by war, to bring to justice those who committed war crimes, to honor the victims, including those who died in the genocide at Srebrenica so they will never be forgotten and the lessons can be learned that this will never, ever happen again.

Earlier in 2012, the United States of America welcomed the appointment of a new Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The U.S. government has congratulated Chairman Bevanda and the entire government as they take up the important responsibility of leading Bosnia and Herzegovina forward on behalf of its citizens.

With the new Council in place, the world is confident that the Bosnian Government will be able to build on its recent passage of EU-related legislation to open the door for a Bosnian application for EU candidacy.

The U.S. government also expects that the government will address as top priorities an agreement on a 2012 budget and the registration of defense property to meet NATO's condition for full participation in the Membership Action Plan.

An estimated 40,000 people went missing as a result of the conflicts of the 1990's in the former Yugoslavia, approximately 30,000 of them in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was ended with the participation of the United States in brokering the 1995 Dayton Agreement. The United States maintains command of the NATO headquarters in Sarajevo. The U.S. government has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to help with the rebuilding of the war-devastated country in terms of infrastructure, humanitarian aid, economic development, and military reconstruction

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.

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