Statement by Christian Schwarz-Schilling, the High Representative for BiH at the Press Conference in Mostar

It’s remarkable how much time has been spent in meetings over the years in
Mostar to so little effect, how many promises have been made and how few have
been kept, and how many deadlines have been set and how few have been met.

This ridiculous state of affairs cannot continue. I am therefore on the point
of taking measures to bring it to an end.

The latest in the list of meetings that failed to
deliver was that which I called with Mostar officials in


on 4 July. On that
occasion, I received a number of promises, almost all of which have been
honoured in the breach.

I was promised that civil-service vacancies would be advertised and filled
before October. It is now late August and the necessary paperwork has still not
been forwarded to the Civil Service Agency.

I was promised a plan for the establishment of a single public utility
company. Instead, I was informed that an “expert team” had been formed to make
recommendations to the City Council on 20 September, although the first date was
August 1.

I was promised a progress report on the harmonisation of the statutes of
those institutions whose statutes are not yet harmonised and specifically
HRT. I’m still waiting.

I appreciate the efforts of Mayor Beslic, and President of the City Council
Coric, to move things in a positive direction. Clearly, the SDA and HDZ majority
are blocking these issues.

I, nevertheless, agreed in my meeting with Mr Beslic and Mr Coric to accept a
new, final deadline for achieving substantial progress on the outstanding

The deadline for reporting is now 8 September, while 15 September is the
deadline for a decision.

By 15 September, I expect to receive a plan for establishment of the single
public utility company.

By 15 September, I expect the civil-service vacancies to be advertised.

The issue of vacancies is the responsibility of the Mayor and the Civil
Servants Agency. After the appeal time on this procedure is finished, the
process should start in October.

And by 15 September, I expect to receive a progress report for the
establishment of the public utility company. The public utility companies are
now either bankrupt or facing bankruptcy. Day and night work is needed to solve
this issue, not long vacations.

The 15 September is not a deadline for recommendations of the expert group
working on this issue. It is a deadline for City Council decisions. 

On the two last points; utility companies and

HRT there are two alternatives. Either the
City Council discusses and agrees the needed course of action for each one or
there will be an official request from the City Council to the OHR for

The arbitration decision as normal will be final and binding. Isolated
mediation by OHR will not take place. There has been enough time for this in the
past two to three years. Mediation is possible as part of arbitration, without
arbitration there is no mediation.

These are the choices for the City Council. If they do not manage to make
this decision, on 15 September I will take other measures, which would end
ownership in Mostar.

This is the last chance for this town. The image of this city has an impact
on the whole country. I hope this last chance will be used.

Thank you.