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Lajcak: the contradictions of the international community in Bosnia

(B2) Miroslav Lajcak, the EU special representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina who has just resigned from his post, still remains very vocal about his recent experience. But, in an interview with our Slovak colleagues from SME:, he does not hide his harsh judgment on the role – and contradictions – of the international community on the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

A failure of the international community, too? "I was seen as frustrated. (But) What I feel is that the problem is that there is no uniform position of the international community in Bosnia.”(…) Due to several factors, such as Kosovo and the failure of constitutional reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the rise of nationalism, the process has been stopped for more than two years and the two entities sit side by side.” Lajcak points the finger at the contradictions of the various States and the international community in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in particular on the role of the High Representative. These partners tell us “to assume the functions of High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because without him there is no agreement, and the same give the status of candidate to the European Union because we consider that they are mature.” The absurd situation in which Bosnia and Herzegovina finds itself will be at its maximum next year, since it will be a member of the United Nations Security Council. In other words, we, the International Community, say that it is not independent enough to work alone but independent enough to be one of the 15 countries that decide the fate of the planet".

Police reform. This statement is not isolated. It surprisingly joins that of an ambassador to the EU Politics and Security Committee (of another nationality than Lajcak) who told me
confided recently, commenting on police reform in Bosnia. “There have been so many initiatives on police reform, from certain countries, from the EU, from the United States, from the UN… that it has become a problem in itself. Frankly, we have to stop everything and start from the beginning. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, we
thus has a German system for border control, a British system for investigations, a Swiss system for patrols, and an American system. How do you want this to work…”


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).