All for One and One for All

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite Presidency, that will be inaugurated on Monday, was a complex response to a complex challenge that works well when its members represent not just those who voted for them but all citizens, the High Representative and EU Special Representative, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, wrote in his weekly newspaper column.


“When it has succeeded, it has created a robust and impartial presence through which to uphold the interests of citizens at the very heart of the political process, at the same time representing the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina in an appropriately dignified way at national and international events”, the High Representative and EU Special Representative wrote in the article which appeared today in Dnevni avaz, Nezavisne novine and Večernji list.


“When it has failed,” Mr Schwarz-Schilling warned. “It has reduced citizens’ faith in the political process domestically and raised questions about the ability of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s representatives to represent the country on the international stage.”


“The manner in which the Presidency can succeed is clear,” the High Representative and EU Special Representative wrote. “It works well when its members honour their formal commitment to represent not just those who voted for them but all citizens.”


Mr Schwarz-Schilling wrote: “As everyone knows, the three members of the Presidency come from the three constituent peoples. Less well understood, however is the fact that they do not represent the constituent peoples as such. The Presidency and its members represent – and work on behalf of – the country as a whole.


“The institution has failed – indeed it has been brought into disrepute – when members have set themselves up as champions of one or other constituent people. It has worked when its members have acted in concert to secure benefits for the entire country.”


The High Representative and EU Special Representative made clear that he expected the three incoming members of the Presidency – Zelko Komsic, Nebojsa Radmanovic and Haris Silajdzic – to commit themselves to acting in the common good. And he concluded by wishing them well.


The full text of the High Representative/EU Special Representative’s weekly column can be accessed at www.ohr.int and www.eusrbih.org