news 02 Oct 12

US Calls for Reform of Bosnia’s Federation Entity

The US Ambassador to Bosnia, Patrick Moon, has called for reform of the Bosniak-Croat Federation entity, but said he would not propose any solutions.

Elvira M. Jukic

The US embassy in Sarajevo said that in the past six months, the ambassador Patrick Moon has been encouraging individuals, political leaders and NGOs to start a debate on constitutional reforms to the Federation entity that would protect the rights of all its citizens.

“The United States has already said it is necessary that the Federation entity, as all other levels of the government in Bosnia, become more functional and efficient,” the US embassy said.

However, the embassy was careful to point out that it would not interfere in that process nor propose solutions to the political leadership.

“Any kind of concrete reforms of the Constitution of the Federation has to come from the citizens of the entity,” the US embassy stated. “ While we support the need to start a serious discussion over reforms, the USA does not have any plans to propose reforms.”

According to the local media, the reforms are expected to be completed by the first half of next year, with a focus on reducing the administrative complexity of the entity, and improving the economy.

Prior to the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995, which ended the four-year war, the Bosniaks and Croats signed the Washington Agreement in March 1994. The territory then held by the two armies was divided into ten cantons, making up the Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina.

The country of Bosnia and Herzegovina also includes another entity, the Serb-led Republika Srpska, helping to create a large, complex administrative structure, with several, overlapping levels of government. 

The Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia also supports the idea of reforms, saying that the entity needs to be function more efficiently.

“The EU supports any initiative that will make the Bosnia and Hercegovina’s administration, including the Federation, function effectively and efficiently,” the spokesperson for the EU delegation, Jamila Milovic-Halilovic, told Balkan Insight.

“To achieve this, the structures in the Federation must be improved and reformed, in order for them to become more functional,” she added.

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