Monday

23rd May 2022

Opinion

Three presidents should attend Bosnia memorial

  • Sarajevo's Eternal Flame, a Yugoslav symbol for those who fell in World War One, could serve as a model for Bosnia-Herzogovina's memorialisation of the 1990s war (Photo: WikiCommons)

The issue of internal reconciliation is still very delicate in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where, 23 years after the end of the war that burst out in 1992 and that left 101,000 dead, a common and reconciliatory approach to the past is still missing.

To date, no common commemoration of the victims of the different communities has ever been held, preventing society to step towards a joint sense of belonging to their past and to their suffering, and fastening each community to its own individual narrative of the past.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Building a future together starts from making peace with the past, and from the shared belief that there must be no division, ambiguity or barricade when it comes to mourn the victims of such an atrocious conflict.

It is in the interest of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and of the whole international community, to encourage a common positive development to commemorate victims jointly at a moment when the future seems to be at the door.

EU Commission strategy

The European Commission strategy to bring the Western Balkans into the European Union within the next years is a powerful target that needs to be met solving disputes and advancing towards the construction of joint goals.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the international community has invited the three members of the presidency to honour the 24 March jointly.

March 24 is UN International Day for the Right to Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for Dignity of Victims.

On the same day where initiatives across the world are held to commemorate victims of all faiths and to remind how senseless war is as a means to solve disputes, Bosnia-Herzegovina could make an important leap into the future if the three presidents would take part in the effort, organised under the auspices of the United Nations, the European Commission and the Italian chair of Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Proving a powerful message to all people in Bosnia-Herzegovina and setting an example across the region, two months away from the EU-Western Balkans summit that will take place in Sofia on 17 May, at a moment where the European Commission has unveiled its ambitious strategy to welcome the countries, would be paramount.

Integration and a credible unified perspective when it comes to building the future is the key driver of transformation in the country, that will enhance our collective prosperity and social well-being, bringing Bosnia closer to the status of candidate for the EU accession.

Antonia Battaglia was a UN officer in Kosovo, and is a researcher at the Centre for Political Theory of ULB University in Brussels, and author of a book on Kosovo, and writes for Balkan Insight

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

EU needs commitment to rights in West Balkans

The European Commission's new West Balkans strategy means well - but it will need serious commitment to respecting the rule of law, not just paying attention when violence flares.

Bulgaria calls for West Balkan EU integration after Brexit

The UK leaving the EU gives an opportunity to bring the Western Balkans closer, Bulgaria's PM said in Brussels. Bulgaria will hold the upcoming rotating presidency, while Juncker said Serbia and Montenegro will be EU members by 2025.

EU divided over Western Balkan enlargement

After the European Commission presented its Western Balkans strategy last week, with a view of possibly integrating the region by 2025, some EU ministers were less enthusiastic after their first discussion of the new policy.

'Demotivated, disillusioned' Bosnians head to polls

Sunday's election - in one of the most complex political systems in the world - sees many Bosnia's worry the EU has already given up hope on them. Fears of electoral fraud are unlikely to help.

EU must recognise new force for Balkans destabilisation

EU foreign ministers will discuss Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday. The EU has the opportunity to show that it is not a political dwarf in the Balkans, where not only economic, but also political reforms are necessary.

What Europe still needs to do to save its bees

On World Bee Day, it is essential to pay homage to a variety of pollinating insects crucial for our food security. A number of EU projects contribute to their sustained survival.

Will 'Putin's Nato' follow Warsaw Pact into obscurity?

Valdimir Putin's equivalent to Nato — the Collective Security Treaty Organization of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Belarus — is convening in Moscow next week to give cover that Russia is not alone in its war against Ukraine.

The EU Parliament Covid inquiry: the questions MEPs must ask

A basic lack of transparency around the EU's vaccines procurement negotiations has prevented effective public and parliamentary scrutiny. It has also made it impossible to answer some of the key questions we put forward here.

News in Brief

  1. UK to send 'hundreds' of migrants to Rwanda each year
  2. Norwegian knife attacks were domestic dispute
  3. Sweden hits back at Turkey's 'disinformation' in Nato bid
  4. Germany's Schröder gives up one of two Russia jobs
  5. G7 countries pledge €18bn in financial aid for Ukraine
  6. Italian unions strike in protest over military aid for Ukraine
  7. Russia cuts gas supply to Finland
  8. Half of Gazprom's clients have opened rouble accounts

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. Missing guns amid rising far-right hate in EU
  2. MEPs boycott trip after Israeli snub
  3. What Europe still needs to do to save its bees
  4. Remembering Falcone: How Italy almost became a narco-state
  5. Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK
  6. MEPs urge sanctioning the likes of ex-chancellor Schröder
  7. MEPs call for a more forceful EU response to Kremlin gas cut
  8. Catalan leader slams Pegasus use: 'Perhaps I'm still spied on'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us