Motion for a resolution - B8-1364/2015Motion 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

Jiří Maštálka, Sofia Sakorafa on behalf of the GUE/NGL 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 its previous resolutions on Bosnia and Herzegovina,

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

A.  whereas the dissolution of Yugoslavia resulted in a bloody war and foreign interference in the Western Balkans region; whereas developments in the Western Balkans at that time also reflected the failure of the EU, its Member States and the international community as a whole to bring about a policy aimed at preventing such crises;

B.  whereas the Dayton Agreement ended the war, but froze rather than solved the conflict among the country’s Serbs, Croats and Bosnians; whereas the political system established by the Dayton Agreement perpetuated ethnic divisions and complicated decision‑making;

C.  whereas the overly complex and inefficient institutional architecture, the absence of a common vision and political will, and ethnocentric attitudes have seriously hampered progress in the country; whereas the prolonged political stalemate represents a serious impediment to the country’s stabilisation and development, and is depriving citizens of a secure and prosperous future;

D.  whereas Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to depend on foreign aid in order to function; whereas over 50 % of the state revenues of Bosnia and Herzegovina are spent on maintaining the administration at numerous levels; whereas, on the other hand, Bosnia and Herzegovina has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in Europe (59 % of the active population aged 15 to 24);

E.  whereas political tensions between the two entities and among the three ethnic communities are continuous, and counterproductive for the functioning of Bosnia and Herzegovina; whereas those tensions are reflected in the work of the country’s judiciary, which is not fully effective in processing the cases of those accused of war crimes and delivering final verdicts; whereas the biggest obstacle to the effective prosecution of war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the complex and fragmented legislative framework;

F.  whereas the perpetrators of war crimes must not be allowed to escape justice; whereas the end of impunity for war crimes is a basic requirement to enable Bosnia and Herzegovina to achieve public confidence in its justice system;

G.  whereas Bosnia and Herzegovina is still an international protectorate; whereas the UN High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina has wide-ranging powers, including legislative and administrative powers; whereas this allows politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina to avoid political ownership, responsibility and accountability;

H.  whereas most Bosnian politicians and foreign officials now agree that the Dayton Agreement has run its course; whereas the written commitment – adopted by the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and signed by the leaders of all political parties, and endorsed by the parliament on 23 February 2015 – on measures to establish institutional functionality and efficiency, to launch reforms at all levels of government, to accelerate the process of reconciliation and to strengthen administrative capacity represented a step towards constitutional reform, but so far has not shown tangible results;

I.  whereas Bosnia and Herzegovina is faced with challenges such as the refugee crisis, organised crime (especially drugs and human trafficking) and religious extremism; whereas a growing number of asylum seekers will become stuck in the Western Balkans; whereas this may increase the likelihood of violence in the region, whose pre‑existing problems, such as ethnic tensions, organised crime and high unemployment, could worsen in the coming months;

1.  Emphasises that resolving the problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina is crucial for the stability and prosperity of the Balkan region; stresses that economic prosperity and social stability are only possible if they are based on an independent, democratic and inclusive society and state; notes that constitutional reform aimed at consolidating, streamlining and strengthening the institutional framework established by the Dayton Agreement remains key to transforming Bosnia and Herzegovina into an effective, inclusive and fully functional state; urges all political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the international community, to work on making the necessary changes, including addressing the issue of the country’s costly and complex administrative structure, which results in an overlapping of competencies between the central state, entities, cantons and municipalities;

2.  Stresses that genuine ownership of the reform processes by the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina is key; calls, therefore, for the immediate start of negotiations aimed at ending the protectorate status of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

3.  Urges political forces at all levels of power in the country to engage in further cooperation and dialogue with a view to overcoming existing disputes; welcomes the commitment expressed by the leaders of all political parties, and endorsed by the parliament, to launching reforms at all levels of governance and accelerating the process of reconciliation; calls for these processes to be transparent and inclusive;

4.  Considers it essential to enhance the role of civil society in political processes by enabling it to articulate the interests of citizens, particularly young people; deplores the fact that institutional mechanisms for cooperation with civil society remain weak and are hampering the development of more participatory, inclusive and responsive democracy throughout the country; calls, therefore, for transparent and inclusive public consultation mechanisms that involve all public stakeholders, for the establishment of a framework for public discussion of important legislative decisions, and for the adoption of a national strategy for civil society;

5.  Calls on the entities and the state-level judicial system to bring the perpetrators of war crimes to justice, and to fulfil the expectations of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a view to facilitating the reconciliation process and the peaceful coexistence of all three ethnic communities throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

6.  Calls for a shift away from the nationalist and ethnocentric rhetoric coming from the political leadership of the three constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina; condemns all kinds of segregation and discrimination on religious or ethnic grounds in a country;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the governments and parliaments of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska, the UN Secretary-General and the governments of the 10 counties/cantons of Bosnia and Herzegovina.