Motion for a resolution - B8-1363/2015Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement

9.12.2015 - (2015/2979(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Jozo Radoš, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Filiz Hyusmenova, Ivan Jakovčić, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Urmas Paet, Marietje Schaake, Jasenko Selimovic, Pavel Telička on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1362/2015

Procedure : 2015/2979(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the Dayton Peace Agreement (General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina), negotiated in November 1995 and signed by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Paris on 14 December 1995,

–  having regard to the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the Sejdić-Finci case, of December 2009,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the 2003 Thessaloniki European Council, the annex thereto entitled ‘The Thessaloniki Agenda for the Western Balkans: moving towards European integration’ and the continued commitment by the European Union to promoting stability and prosperity in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), with the long-term objective of EU membership,

–  having regard to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, of the other part, signed in Luxembourg on 16 June 2008 and ratified by all the EU Member States and Bosnia and Herzegovina,

–  having regard to the conclusions on BiH of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting held in Brussels on 15 December 2014, which established a renewed EU approach to BiH, the conclusions on BiH of the General Affairs Council meeting held in Brussels on 16 December 2014, the Commission communication of 10 November 2015 entitled ‘EU Enlargement Strategy ‘ (COM(2015)0611) (accompanied by the Commission staff working document entitled ‘Bosnia and Herzegovina 2015 Report’ (SWD(2015)0214)), and the Indicative Strategy Paper on Bosnia and Herzegovina (2014-2017) adopted on 15 December 2014,

–  having regard to the joint statement adopted at the 17th European Parliament – Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina Interparliamentary Meeting, held on 20 and 21 May in Strasbourg,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Dayton Peace Agreement, negotiated in November 1995 and signed in Paris on 14 December 1995, brought an end to the tragic four-year war and provided an opportunity for the political and economic reconstruction of the country;

B.  whereas the Dayton-imposed Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has entrenched a fragmented and dysfunctional institutional framework, which has rendered central authorities devoid of competencies essential for the functioning of a modern state;

C.  whereas attempts to provide external assistance through the significant presence and activities of the international community (the UN, the EU and NATO) did not succeed in developing a well-organised, more functional and prosperous country;

D.  whereas the 2009 Sejdić-Finci ruling is only one indication of the need for substantial constitutional reforms in BiH, alongside other clear indications of resurgent ethnic tensions, political stagnation and administrative fragmentation; whereas the political stalemate has led to persistently high unemployment and weak economic growth;

E.  whereas a number of ethnocentric political parties and leaders are thriving in the atmosphere created by the current institutional and political stalemate; whereas some political parties and certain politicians have maintained a critical line towards the unity of BiH, including occasional calls for the dissolution of the country, or for greater autonomy for the constituent entities;

F.  whereas the EU and the international community stand firmly behind the sovereignty and territorial integrity of BiH;

G.  whereas the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) constitutes the framework for relations between the EU and BiH, and provides for the gradual establishment of a free trade area between the two parties; whereas it also identifies common political and economic objectives and encourages regional cooperation; whereas the SAA will also contribute to the progressive alignment of BiH norms and legislation with EU legislation, thus benefiting BiH citizens through better-quality, healthier and safer goods;

1.  Expresses its condolences to the families of the many victims and missing persons of the war in BiH; calls on the authorities of BiH to continue their cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and to step up efforts to tackle effectively the backlog of domestic war crime trials in order to bring perpetrators of atrocities and human rights violations to justice;

2.  Underlines the fact that, while the Dayton Accord was a much-needed agreement in terms of putting an immediate end to the fighting, it is essential to initiate a substantial constitutional review and reform process in the country, including in socio-economic, judicial, and other fields; stresses that this is necessary in order to make the country’s institutional framework work effectively and efficiently, and to meet BiH’s commitments as a member of the Council of Europe; stresses that these reforms will be needed in order to conduct accession talks with the EU;

3.  Stresses that one of the key issues to be tackled in the area of constitutional reforms relates to the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights on the Sejdić-Finci case, which must be remedied by adequate legal and constitutional changes in BiH;

4.  Takes note of a number of initiatives – some based on international involvement and others with a domestic base – aimed at commencing work on changing the Dayton‑based constitution in BiH; regrets that these efforts have so far failed to produce satisfactory results due to the ethnocentric politics conducted by BiH leaders and the insufficient engagement of international actors; stresses that all future initiatives need to engage with civil society actors and take on board their considerations in order to build an inclusive and open society in BiH;

5.  Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, together with the Commissioner in charge of enlargement, to instruct the European External Action Service to draw up a comprehensive plan for how the EU, the Member States and other international actors can engage with all the stakeholders in BiH, with the objective of making substantial progress on constitutional change and modification of the Dayton Agreement;

6.  Considers that the international community needs to engage BiH’s neighbours and the guarantors of the Dayton Peace Agreement, which should contribute proactively to the constitutional reform process, which will strengthen the central authority and streamline and defragment the operation of the country’s institutions; underlines the fact that all Western Balkan countries have a responsibility to contribute to the stability of the region;

7.  Points out that EU and international involvement in this process should consist in acting as a political initiator, catalyst and facilitator, while the Bosnian stakeholders must maintain responsibility for, and ownership of, the constitutional reform agenda, with the aim of creating a new constitutional architecture in BiH which can guarantee the legitimate needs of the communities while also securing unity and effectiveness; underlines the fact that all citizens of BiH must have equal access to all levels of political decision making;

8.  Stresses that the constitutional reform process must include the overall state structure and its political, administrative and judicial components; calls on the Venice Commission and the Council of Europe to offer their full support to these efforts, so that the reforms are in line with BiH’s international commitments;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the governments and parliaments of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its entities, and the governments and parliaments of the countries of the Western Balkans.