In the exercise of the powers vested in the High Representative by Article V of Annex 10 (Agreement on Civilian Implementation of the Peace Settlement) to the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to which the High Representative is the final authority in theatre regarding interpretation of the said Agreement on the Civilian Implementation of the Peace Settlement; and considering in particular Article II.1. (d) of the last said Agreement, according to the terms of which the High Representative shall “[F]acilitate, as the High Representative judges necessary, the resolution of any difficulties arising in connection with civilian implementation”;
Recalling paragraph XI.2 of the Conclusions of the Peace Implementation Conference held in Bonn on 9 and 10 December 1997, in which the Peace Implementation Council welcomed the High Representative’s intention to use his final authority in theatre regarding interpretation of the Agreement on the Civilian Implementation of the Peace Settlement in order to facilitate the resolution of any difficulties as aforesaid “by making binding decisions, as he judges necessary” on certain issues including, under sub-paragraph (c) thereof, “measures to ensure implementation of the Peace Agreement throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and its Entities”;
Mindful of the fact that the peace implementation process, which continues to be pursued under the aegis of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is not yet complete;
Further mindful of the fact that the peace implementation process requires to be completed in order that a stable political and security environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina is established;
Emphasizing that the Brčko Final Award and its Annex of 18 August 1999 envisages the possibility for any resident of the District to change his or her entity citizenship;
Recalling that the Law on Citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Law on Citizenship of the Republika Srpska and the Law on Citizenship of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina envisage an inter-entity agreement to provide mechanisms for changing of the entity citizenship for certain categories of citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
Deploring that such an inter-entity agreement, which would also provide a mechanism for Brčko District residents to change their entity citizenship, was never concluded, regardless of repeated calls to Entity authorities to do so;
Recalling also that no other solution was enacted by the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement the Brčko Final Award and its Annex related to the right of Brčko District residents to change their entity citizenship;
Bearing in mind that the right to vote of the Brčko District residents for the members of the Presidency and the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in the Entity elections is linked to their entity citizenship, and that failure of the authorities to provide for a sustainable mechanism to change entity citizenship results in the inability for the resident to exercise his or her voting option and to vote in one or the other Entity;
Mindful of the fact that the Steering Board of Peace Implementation Council, at its meeting on 27 February 2008, defined the “Completion of the Brčko Final Award” as one of the objectives that need to be delivered by the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina prior to transition of the Office of the High Representative into the European Union Special Representative, called upon the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to achieve these objectives as soon as possible and further requested the High Representative to undertake all appropriate measures to ensure that the above objectives are met;
Noting that, with the aim of completing the Supervisory regime and implementing the Final Award, the Brčko Supervisor wrote in March 2008 to the Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Government of Republika Srpska reminding them that the absence of an inter-entity agreement put certain categories of District residents in an unequal situation, and asking them to consider an adequate solution;
Recalling that the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council, at its meeting in Sarajevo on 25 and 26 March 2009, further urged the competent authorities to ensure rapid progress towards completion of the Brčko Final Award, by resolving remaining issues under the Final Award, including the issue of entity citizenship;
Recalling further that the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council, at its meeting in Sarajevo on 29 and 30 June 2009, stated that the District institutions as a whole are now functioning effectively and apparently permanently but that the Entities have not yet fulfilled their remaining obligations under the Awards of the Tribunal to […] allow for change of entity citizenship for Brčko residents…” and called the Entities, and the State, where appropriate, to resolve those issues no later than 15 September 2009;
Aware that, on 10 July 2009, the Brčko Supervisor welcomed the unanimous adoption by the Assembly of the Brčko District of a Resolution calling upon the relevant State and the Entity institutions to cooperate with the authorities of the Brčko District on resolving the issues identified by the Peace Implementation Council within the deadline identified by the Peace Implementation Council;
Noting with disappointment that the fulfilment of the Entities’ obligations that would enable the Supervisor to finally notify the Arbitral Tribunal that the implementation of the Final Award is complete and pave the way for the Peace Implementation Council to take a decision on terminating the Supervisory regime in the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina at its scheduled meeting in November was not achieved by the identified deadline of 15 September 2009;
Being seized of the urgency, and
having considered and borne in mind all these matters,
the High Representative hereby issues the following
Enacting the Law on Amendments to the Law on Citizenship of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Law which follows and which forms an integral part of this Decision shall enter into force as provided for in Article 8 thereof on an interim basis, until such time as the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopts this Law in due form, without amendment and with no conditions attached.
This Decision shall be published on the official website of the Office of the High Representative and shall come into effect forthwith.
This Decision shall be published in the “Official Gazette of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina” without delay.
Sarajevo, 18 September 2009
Dr. Valentin Inzko
ON AMENDMENTS TO THE LAW ON CITIZENSHIP OF THE FEDERATION OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
(Amendment to Article 4)
In the Law on Citizenship of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (“Official Gazette of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, Nos. 43/01 and 22/09; hereinafter: the Law), in Article 4, after sub-paragraph 2, a new sub-paragraph 3 shall be added to read:
“3. by admission of a citizen of the Republika Srpska into the citizenship of the Federation;”.
Current items 3, 4, and 5 shall become items 4, 5 and 6.
(Amendments to Article 5)
In Article 5 of the Law, sub-paragraph 4, after the words “in a diplomatic-consular representation of BiH,” the word “or” shall be added.
In sub-paragraph 5 of Article 5 of the Law, after the words “the parents agreed that the citizenship of the Federation be conferred to the child;” the word “or” shall be added.
(New Article 27.a)
After Article 27 of the Law, new Article 27.a shall be added to read:
A citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina who does not have the Entity citizenship stated or a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the citizenship of Republika Srpska, who has a permanent residence in the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, shall acquire the citizenship of the Federation if he so wishes.
A citizen of the Federation who has a permanent residence in the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina may change his citizenship of the Federation by acquisition of the citizenship of Republika Srpska.
Right of acquisition or of change of Entity citizenship referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article may be exercised only once on the basis of being a Brčko District resident.”
(Amendment to Article 29)
In Article 29 of the Law, after paragraph (2) a new paragraph (3) shall be added to read:
“The request for acquisition or change of the citizenship of the Federation referred to in Article 27.a, paragraph (1), of this Law, shall be submitted to the Federal Ministry through the competent body of the Brčko Districtof Bosnia and Herzegovina. The request shall contain a statement on choosing the citizenship of the Federation or a statement on changing the Entity citizenship by acquisition of citizenship of the Federation and shall be supplemented with the certificate on citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina or a verified copy of travel document of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a verified copy of identity card and a certificate of permanent residency in the Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
Current paragraph (3) of Article 29 of the Law shall become paragraph (4).
(Amendment to Article 34)
In Article 34 of the Law, after paragraph (2) new paragraphs (3) and (4) shall be added to read:
“The request referred to in Article 29, paragraph (3), of this Law shall be decided by the Federal Ministry within the deadline of 60 days from the date of receipt of the request by a decision that shall be delivered within the deadline of 15 days to the competent body of the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the case of the request for the change of Entity citizenship, the decision shall also be delivered to the competent body of Republika Srpska within the same deadline.
If the Federal Ministry fails to pass the decision within the deadline of 60 days referred to in paragraph (3) of this Article, it shall be considered that the person fulfils the conditions for acquisition of the citizenship of the Federation and the citizenship shall be registered in the registry books without special decision.”
(Amendment to Article 35)
In Article 35 of the Law, after the words “paragraph 2” the words “and Article 34, paragraph (3)” shall be added.
(Amendment to Article 37)
In Article 37, paragraph (2), the words “6 and 7 of this Law” shall be replaced by the words “6 and 7, as well as pursuant to the provision of Article 34, paragraph (4) of this Law”.
(Entry into Force of this Law)
This Law shall enter into force on the eighth day after the date of its publication in the “Official Gazette of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”