Overview of positive political events in BiH in 2012

EU will invest 84.8 million EUR in BiH in order to help the reforms necessary for further progress of BiH on its path to the EU, and European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said that EU continues its support for the European future of BiH.

European Union Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina Peter Sørensen has invited BiH politicians to take responsibility for decisive steps towards the EU.

Sørensen said that the implementation of the Sejdić-Finci ruling is a must, as well as the creation of the coordination mechanism that will allow BiH to speak with one voice about the European issues.

The political scene in BiH has seen a lot in 2012, and there were both positive and negative events. The beginning of the year was marked by the creation of the new parliamentary majority which ended a several months long crisis of power in BiH. New parliamentary majority has adopted the Population Census Law and the Law on the State Aid, which were very important for BiH path to the EU, and also there were many talks about the implementation of the judgment of the  European Court of Human Rights in case of Sejdić and Finci v Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Representatives of both chambers of the Parliament of BiH have adopted the Law on Budget of BiH and international obligations of BiH for 2013 and thus they prevented the deepening of crisis and improved the reputation of BiH.

Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH Vjekoslav Bevanda said that this was the first time that the budget was adopted before the New Year.

The governments of FBiH and RS also adopted budgets on time.

BiH was visited by significant dignitaries from Europe and the World. In July, Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon met with the Presidency of BiH, leaders of the main political parties in BiH and he also held a speech in the Parliament of BiH.

” Difference must be overcome and only by joint force BiH can move forward”, said Ban Ki-Moon.

During his visit the Secretary-General visited the Memorial centre in Potočari.

2012 will also be remembered by the visit of the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.

During the visit, they emphasised the sovereignty and integrity of BiH that has European future.

In September, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited BiH, and said that the citizens of BiH should not be divided, and added that Turkey wants a powerful and stable BiH.

2012 was the year marked by visits that contributed to regional cooperation. On Jahorina members of Presidency of BiH Bakir Izetbegović, Željko Komšić and Nebojša Radmanović met with the president of Serbia Boris Tadić and the president of Croatia Ivo Josipović. They talked about the prosecution of war criminals, borders, property-legal relations and issues plaguing relations in the region.

Prime Minister of Croatia Zoran Milanović visited BiH where he talked with the dignitaries of BiH about the open issues between BiH and Croatia.

President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolić and Prime Minister of Serbia visited BiH visited Banjaluka in December. Nikolić said that he respects BiH and its constitutional order; he also said that BiH is the member of the UN with Sarajevo as its capital.

After the visit of Serbian president and Prime minister to Banjaluka, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Ivan Mrkić visited Sarajevo.

Mrkić met with the member of the Presidency of BiH Bakir Izetbegović, with the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH Vjekoslav Bevanda and with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of BiH Zlatko Lagumdžija.

Mrkić said that the independence of RS is not possible and that Belgrade does not even think about that option.

On the field of politics, 2012 was marked by the Local elections, held on October 7. The largest number of mayors had the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) – 37 mayors. Social-Democratic Party of BiH (SDP) and Alliance for Better Future (SBB) gained fewer votes than on the general elections in 2010. In RS Alliance of Independent Social-Democrats (SNSD) of Milorad Dodik recorded a significant drop in number of votes, while Serb Democratic Party (SDS) received 29 mayor positions.

Also, it is important to note that the representatives of parties that participate in the Municipal Assembly of Srebrenica made an agreement on government which stipulates that there will be no opposition in Srebrenica and that all parties will support the mayor of Srebrenica Ćamil Duraković, and thus created the conditions for normal functioning of Srebrenica.

Another positive event that marked the year was the Regional Donors Conference held in Sarajevo with the aim to permanently solve the issue of refugees in the Western Balkans.

On that occasion 300 million EUR was collected to solve the housing problem of 27 000 refugee families, and the countries of the region had obliged themselves to ensure 83 million EUR for the implementation of the project and with further lobbying the remaining money should also be secured.

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