EU Postpones Signing Key Accord with Bosnia
Brussels_ Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union will not sign a Stabilization and Association Agreement, SAA, this month, the International Community’s High Representative in the country said on Friday.
Representatives of Bosnia and the EU initialed the SAA last December. A formal signing ceremony was deferred until Sarajevo had fulfilled a small number of remaining conditions. Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn and Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, on behalf of the EU Presidency, had indicated that the SAA could be signed on May 26 at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels.
EU officials have cited technical problems for the delay. Balkan Insight has learned that EU translation capacity has been overwhelmed by the task of translating the text of the Lisbon Treaty into all 23 EU languages, which has made it impossible to have the text of he SAA translated into the three languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Brussels today at a meeting of the EU’s Political and Security Committee Lajcak noted that Bosnia has a commitment from Brussels that “the signing of the SAA will happen in June.”
Lajcak also warned that comments by nationalist politicians in Serbia, particularly regarding the smaller of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s two Entities, Republika Srpska, were unhelpful. He said that when the new government is formed in Belgrade it should focus on the problems of Serbia itself. “Bosnia and Herzegovina has enough state institutions and enough international support, which will protect its territorial integrity and will take care of Bosnia’s political progress and integration,” Lajcak said. “What we need from other governments in the region is correct behavior and not to interfere in my job as I will not interfere in the business of any other government in the region.”