Tuesday

20th Nov 2018

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

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join 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

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.

Panic is not answer to EU's security challenges

EU foreign ministers must choose between contaminating their civilian missions and operations with panic over security and migration, and reaffirming the EU's core values as a global actor for peace and development.

News in Brief

  1. May to meet Juncker on Wednesday to finalise Brexit deal
  2. Future of EU's Mediterranean naval mission in doubt
  3. EU budget talks for 2019 collapse
  4. EU mulls new Russia sanctions over Ukraine 'elections'
  5. EU farm chief 'confident' sugar prices will recover
  6. Researcher: EU expert groups still imbalanced and opaque
  7. Nature groups disappointed by EU fishing deal
  8. DUP chief says Irish backstop was 'tactic' by EU

Why 'Spitzenkandidat' is probably here to stay

The power of the parliament to 'appoint' the president of the EU Commission is new, highly-contested - and not universally understood. In fact, even some of the lead candidates to replace Jean-Claude Juncker are against it.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Cyprus and Greece to create EU spy academy
  2. MEPs likely to delay vote on greater transparency
  3. Cold shoulder for Franco-German euro budget plan
  4. Whistleblower: Danske Bank gag stops me telling more
  5. Spain raises Gibraltar, as EU and UK talk post-2020 relationship
  6. Panic is not answer to EU's security challenges
  7. Dutch flesh out proposal for EU human rights sanctions
  8. EU cheerleaders go to Russia-occupied Ukraine

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us