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Germany tells Bosnia: take EU, NATO plunge

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

"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)

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!
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