The only way to turn a page after eight years of stagnation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is for governments at all levels to break with past practices and start delivering much-needed reforms, High Representative Valentin Inzko said in Luxembourg today, where he was meeting with the country’s Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Jean Asselborn.
“The citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Community are in full unison on one very simple point: we expect a fundamental change in the way that politics is conducted. Political leaders must be in no doubt whatsoever that business as usual will not be acceptable”, Inzko said.
Regretting that governments at the state and Federation levels have still not been formed, more than five months after the general elections in BiH, the High Representative said that political parties needed to focus their energy on concrete measures that would improve the lives of citizens when discussing the distribution of work in the new governments: “Coalition negotiations must be about more than just the distribution of posts – citizens expect to hear from the new governments how they will deliver on the promises made during the elections. This has been lacking so far”.
Respect for the rule of law, which includes full adherence to the Dayton Peace Agreement, implementing economic reforms and fighting corruption must be among the key priorities of the new authorities, the High Representative said. The OHR, the European Union and other international actors, with their complementary mandates, are on the ground to assist the country in meeting these challenges.
“This is also a time to reaffirm our commitment to a united and reintegrated Bosnia and Herzegovina, as we support the delivery of deep and sometimes painful changes that are required for the country to become a functional, stable and prosperous member of the European family”, the High Representative concluded.
Luxembourg will assume the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July 2015. Jean Asselborn, Foreign Minister since 2004, is currently the longest-serving minister among the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union.