30 March 2006
German Discipline in the Country of Chaos
CHRISTIAN SCHWARZ-SCHILLING (76), the new and the last High Representative of the International Community for BiH, who succeed the controversial Lord Paddy Ashdown on
Christian Schwarz-Schilling took over the function of High Representative for BiH on 31 January this year. He is the fifth international governor of BiH since the Dayton Agreement was signed, and he succeeded Lord Paddy Ashdown, the controversial British politician, who will be remembered by the napkin, on which Franjo Tudjman sketched him a division of
The new High Representative, older than all the previous ones (he was preceded by Carl Bildt, Carlos Westendorp, Wolfgang Petritsch, and Paddy Ashdown), was born in
“I know the crimes the Nazis committed, and then in 1992, I heard and saw how children had been killed in front of their parents, women raped, people were suffering in BiH, and no one was reacting. Despite the commitment that was made after the Second World War, that something like that would never happen again. That made me resign from the Government at that time, and devote myself to assisting
Hunting for Karadzic and Mladic
We Will Stop Those Who Are Supporting War Criminals
Globus: How do you think the death of Slobodan Milosevic will affect political processes in BiH, the reconciliation process itself?
Christian Schwarz-Schilling:This will certainly accelerate it. The most important thing now is to catch those who should already have been in
Globus: When will Karadzic and Mladic be arrested? You set the deadline for 2007. Is it realistic since they have been at large for 10 years now?
Christian Schwarz-Schilling:We will deal with that issue more than ever. Our focus on Karadzic and Mladic is strong, stronger than before, because they have to be arrested finally. If they did not have a network of supporters, they would already be in
Globus: Are you ready to use all of your powers to destroy the support network in BiH?
Christian Schwarz-Schilling:Of course, certain actions have already been taken, and I will not hesitate, if necessary, to take even more concrete steps to stop funds flowing. The space for their arrest is open now, and we have to act very fast and efficiently.
Jelavic and Covic
Globus: Recently, the Croatian media published a photo of the former HDZ president Ante Jelavic, who was convicted in
Christian Schwarz-Schilling: I do not want to comment on photographs in the papers or what
Globus: Having in mind that you allowed some persons who were removed from their positions for various reasons to go back into political life in BiH, is there a chance that the president of the BiH HDZ Dragan Covic could be amnestied in the same way?
Christian Schwarz-Schilling: That too is a very specific problem and until some things have changed I do not want to comment on the Covic case.
Globus: Were you the initiator of the idea of a West Balkans trade zone that would include the countries of former
Christian Schwarz-Schilling: No, not at all, that has generally been misrepresented. I have never spoken about a single market of the West Balkans or any close ties among the states. There was only talk about the way the European market could function in this region. It was about strengthening communication among these countries and there is nothing bad in that. Earlier there were good trade relations since these countries lived in the same union, but it is a pity not to use those potentials. Trade between the countries should be strengthened not because some international dictator would want that but because that is good for business and for the subsequent integration of these countries in the EU.
Christian Schwarz-Schilling: Yes, that is a good idea, because CEFTA has existed for many years. As countries access the EU, they leave CEFTA, and countries that have just started joining CEFTA can develop their economic capacities. That is a good way forward and it means that there is a preliminary phase that will make – to be honest – a very difficult adjustment to the European market easier.
Globus: As it becomes more and more probable that Kosovo will become independent, there is more and more talk in
Christian Schwarz-Schilling: That is nonsense. No accession to
Globus: Is it possible at all to create a single, functional BiH, which is one of your tasks, as long as Republika Srpska exists?
Christian Schwarz-Schilling: Some decisions in the Dayton Agreement, including the one on the creation of Republika Srpska, may not have been wise or best, but their intention was to stop the war. At that time it was not possible to think much about the future and the processes to follow, because the priority was clear – stop the bloodshed. We have succeeded in that, but some decisions could not be wise in the long run. We have made some wrong estimates, but that’s that now. The dice was cast, things were decided, and we cannot go back to the past. No, it is not good to be a slave to the prejudice that because of the existence of two Entities BiH cannot live as a state. It is up to the people, the institutions, and the whole political system, to strengthen that process. Once political and economic reforms are implemented and people see it as something positive in their own lives, the issue of the Entities will become a side issue. It is not good to be a slave to the Entities’ issue, we should only think about whether local authorities function and whether they serve the people or not. Everything else is a matter of ideology.
Little Time for Big Plans:
Globus: What are the main challenges of your mandate, which problems will be the hardest to solve in BiH?
Christian Schwarz-Schilling: I am a very ambitious person, but I am aware of the fact that I do not have a lot of time. Next year the position of the High Representative will cease to exist and it will be replaced by the position of the EU representative. So I am aware that I only have a year and in that period I have to implement all my ambitious ideas. And as you know, all such plans in