• Germany edition
 
Germany tells Bosnia: take EU, NATO plunge
The traditional bridge-jumping event in Mostar, Bosnia. Photo: DPA

Germany tells Bosnia: take EU, NATO plunge

Published: 03 Apr 2012 11:42 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Apr 2012 11:42 GMT+02:00

Germany and Britain urged Bosnia on Tuesday to take key steps towards EU and NATO membership, as the country marks 20 years since the start of a war that left it deeply divided along ethnic lines.

"2012 can be the year when Bosnia-Hercegovina makes decisive strides towards both membership of the EU and NATO," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and his British counterpart William Hague wrote in a joint column published in leading Bosnian newspapers.

"Bosnia-Hercegovina's political leaders have created a moment of opportunity and we urge them to seize it. We will do all we can to support them," they stressed.

The implementation of Brussels-sought reforms has been slowing down since 2006 due to political infighting. It reached a practical standstill after elections in October 2010 when the parties squabbled for 16 months before finally agreeing on forming a central government in February.

Since the end of the 1992-1995 war Bosnia has been split into two entities – the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serbs' Republika Srpska - linked by weak central institutions.

Westerwelle and Hague said Bosnia could seek to obtain EU candidate status this year – if it continued with the necessary reforms.

To be able to apply for European Union candidate status, Bosnia would notably have to prove that it had launched a credible process to amend its constitution that currently reserves certain elected posts only to members of the main ethnic communities - Muslims, Serbs and Croats.

The European Court of Human Rights has labelled this provision discriminatory against Jews and Roma.

Bosnia is the only Western Balkan country that has not even applied for EU candidate status.

AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

21:15 April 3, 2012 by jg.
"...to amend its constitution that currently reserves certain elected posts only to members of the main ethnic communities - Muslims, Serbs and Croats.

The European Court of Human Rights has labelled this provision discriminatory against Jews and Roma."

More accurately, discriminating against everyone who isn't from one of the country's three major ethnic groups.

The ECHR didn't seem to care about Latvia's citizenship legislation, which is arguably, more discrimiatory and made a load of people in Latvia stateless.
05:51 April 4, 2012 by DOZ
The time has come to offer Russia membership.
07:04 April 4, 2012 by Sayer
The EU, it should be noted, along with NATO, does not stand on an equitable, one law for all principle. It is a self-serving monster, now so far removed from the individuals it's supposed to serve, as to have become a royal court, a la Marie Antoinette's. This 'take the plunge' call should really have read, "Let them east cake!" It should also be noted that Germany, spouting inclusion and fairness, has just had a court rule that it's OK for police to single out and stop people of color in the streets, and has just taken Press TV off the air like the UK did. Seems like, to paraphrase 'A Few Good Men,' Germany cannot handle the truth. Bosnia, let this be a warning to you that the spider is inviting you into his parlor!
Today's headlines
Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner
Photo: DPA

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

The German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy. READ () »

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire
Nane, with her father and a picture of the cartridge-laden wood. Photo: DPA

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire

Two 12-year-old German girls found live ammunition lodged into a branch in an Easter bonfire. It was due to be lit the next day, potentially igniting the cartridges and causing disaster. READ () »

Opinion
'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'
Photo: DPA

'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'

Germany's reliance on Russian gas continues to limit the nation's diplomatic leverage in the Ukraine crisis. But as leaders once again explore fracking as an alternative, critics told The Local the risks were too high. READ () »

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'
Deso Dogg. Photo: YouTube screenshot

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'

UPDATE: A German former rapper who joined jihadists fighting in Syria was reported dead on Tuesday by jihadist sources, but hours later some retracted the claim, saying he was still alive. READ () »

Have Your Say
Who should pay for Germany’s roads?
Photo: DPA

Who should pay for Germany’s roads?

A top politician's suggestion that drivers should be charged €100 a year towards the upkeep of Germany's roads was met with derision on Tuesday. But how should Germany fill the black hole it its infrastructure budget? READ () »

Tax income hits March record
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Tax income hits March record

A record amount of cash flowed into German government coffers in March thanks to land, beer and incomes taxes, a monthly report from the finance ministry revealed on Tuesday. READ () »

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup
Photo: DPA

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup

German unions called on Tuesday for shift workers to be granted later starts during the football World Cup in Brazil this summer. Some of the matches begin at midnight due to the time difference. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,050
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd