Christian Schwarz-Schilling: Germany takes over the Initiative in BiH
Regarding Germany’s decision to officially nominate former Minister Christian Schmidt for High Representative in BiH, former High Representative Christian Schwarz-Schilling expressed his satisfaction with such an attitude in an article he wrote for Deutsche Welle (DW).
It is important to mention that with this candidacy, Germany is taking “the initiative to bring the country back to the international political agenda. The German government has a great interest in the development of BiH and supports the prospect of EU membership,” as stated on the official page of German Federal Foreign Office.
“This candidacy, proposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, clearly states the following: The Office of the High Representative will not be abolished, on the contrary. It needs to regain influence in BiH with new power and a new policy of the international community. The current High Representative Valentin Inzko and I have been constantly talking about the OHR’s ‘third phase’ since October 2020. The Office of the High Representative exists to ensure the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement and its role is not completed yet. There is so much to be done to support BiH’s transition to democracy and its path to the EU, ” Schwarz-Schilling wrote, noting that Germany wants changes in BiH.
“Germany would not even start this initiative if it believed that everything should stay the same. On the contrary, this only shows that Germany supports BiH. The candidacy of Christian Schmidt is not a sign of separated act, nor it was agreed at the secret agreement with Russia, as some might say, but in ‘close coordination with international partners and members of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) Steering Board’, ” as stated in the article.
When it comes to initiatives to change the Constitution of BiH, Schilling wrote the following:
“We have just celebrated 25 years of the Dayton Peace Agreement and many articles and analyzes have been published on this topic. There have also been some surprising warnings that the BiH Constitution must not be touched and that it must remain at this status quo, which is unclear and incompatible with this candidacy. BiH must change its Constitution if it wants to improve this dysfunctional state. Democratic principles must be revived and numerous judgments of the European Court of Human Rights must finally be implemented, ” Schwarz-Schilling writes.
He also referred to two analyzes on BiH that are the result of the work of Wilson Center Paper and the organization Democratization Policy Paper.
“On this occasion, I would like to mention two good analyzes of BiH: the Wilson Center Paper and the Democratization Policy Paper. Both analyzes contain a number of good proposals – and neither of them states that the High Representative should implement constitutional changes using the Bonn Powers. There has always been the case and it always will be that all changes in the Contitution must be made only by the citizens od BiH. It was like that in my time, when I was the High Representative in BiH, and it must remain so in the future: Civil initiatives must have a major role – but in doing so, the support of the international community is necessary. I am happy to conclude that there has been no shortage of such initiatives in BiH lately. I have just received some inquiries seeking appropriate assistance in support of such civil initiatives,” the former High Representative in BiH wrote.