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High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina

High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina

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The High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, with the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was created in 1995 immediately after the Dayton Peace Agreement to oversee the civilian implementation of this agreement. The High Representative and the OHR represent the countries involved in the Dayton Accords through the Peace Implementation Council
Peace Implementation Council
The Peace Implementation Council is an international body charged with implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council was established at an implementation conference held in London, United Kingdom on December 8 and 9, 1995, subsequent to the completion of the...

. From 2002 until 2011, when Peter Sørensen
Peter Sørensen (politician)
Peter Sørensen is the European Union Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina.-Career:A native of Denmark, Sørensen previously served as a legal advisor to High Representative Carl Bildt. Prior to his appointment to Bosnia and Herzegovina, he had served as High Representative from Macedonia...

 was appointed on this position, the High Representative also served as the European Union Special Representative
European Union Special Representative
The European Union Special Representatives are emissaries of the European Union with specific tasks abroad. While the EU's ambassadors are responsible for affairs with a single country, Special Representatives tackle specific issues, conflict areas or regions of countries...

 to Bosnia.. In 2011 All of the High Representatives have been from EU countries, while their principal deputies have been from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Principal Deputy High Representative serves the role of Brčko District
Brcko District
Brčko District in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina is a neutral, self-governing administrative unit, under the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

 Supervisor.

Legal basis in the Dayton Peace Agreements


The Dayton Agreement
Dayton Agreement
The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement, Dayton Accords, Paris Protocol or Dayton-Paris Agreement, is the peace agreement reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in November 1995, and formally signed in Paris on...

 created the legal basis for the OHR. Its Annex 10 provide with the institution of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina to oversee the civilian implementation of the agreement, representing the countries involved in the Dayton Accords through the Peace Implementation Council
Peace Implementation Council
The Peace Implementation Council is an international body charged with implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council was established at an implementation conference held in London, United Kingdom on December 8 and 9, 1995, subsequent to the completion of the...

.

The Bonn Powers of the OHR


At its December 1997 meeting in Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

, the Peace Implementation Council
Peace Implementation Council
The Peace Implementation Council is an international body charged with implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council was established at an implementation conference held in London, United Kingdom on December 8 and 9, 1995, subsequent to the completion of the...

 agreed in granting further substancial powers to the OHR, in order to avoid the implementation of the Dayton agreement
Dayton Agreement
The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement, Dayton Accords, Paris Protocol or Dayton-Paris Agreement, is the peace agreement reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in November 1995, and formally signed in Paris on...

 being delayed or obstructed by local nationalist politicians. The OHR was requested to:
  1. adopt binding decisions when local parties seem unable or unwilling to act;
  2. remove from office public officials who violate legal commitments or, in general, the DPA
    Dayton Agreement
    The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement, Dayton Accords, Paris Protocol or Dayton-Paris Agreement, is the peace agreement reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in November 1995, and formally signed in Paris on...

    .


The Bonn powers were extensively used by the OHR in the following decade. Some examples include the adoption of the Defence reform in April 2003, with the suppression of the Supreme Defence Council of the Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

, and the amendment of Entity Constitutional Laws

Until 2004, the OHR had dismissed a total of 139 officials, including judges, ministers, civil servants and members of parliaments or ministers, sometimes along with freezing their bank accounts. After the 2002 elections, the OHR scrutinised all political candidates for major ministerial positions at Entity and State level.

Criticisms of the action of the OHR through its Bonn powers include:
  • the lack of accountability of his position, which is only responsible to the Peace Implementation Council
    Peace Implementation Council
    The Peace Implementation Council is an international body charged with implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council was established at an implementation conference held in London, United Kingdom on December 8 and 9, 1995, subsequent to the completion of the...

    ;
  • the lack of appeal of his decisions, which are not bound on a preliminary hearing of the concerned persons, and which have immediate effect. Removals may in some cases also impose a life-ban on public offices.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

, which Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 had joined in 2002, has voiced complaints against the actions of the OHR, requiring it to transfer his powers to the Bosnian authorities as soon as possible.

The OHR's prolonged interference in the politics of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Politics of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Politics of Bosnia and Herzegovina takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power...

 is also considered to be one of the causes of the low commitment of citizens towards the state (shown by low voter turnout) and of low accountability of politicians (whose actions are finally subject to external review).

Fusion with the EUSR post


Since 2002, the High Representative also serves as the European Union Special Representative
European Union Special Representative
The European Union Special Representatives are emissaries of the European Union with specific tasks abroad. While the EU's ambassadors are responsible for affairs with a single country, Special Representatives tackle specific issues, conflict areas or regions of countries...

 to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

.

Under Christian Schwarz-Schilling
Christian Schwarz-Schilling
Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling , is a German politician and entrepreneur. He is the son of the composer Reinhard Schwarz-Schilling and is married to the author Marie-Luise Schwarz-Schilling with whom he has two children...

, the OHR seemed to soften its invasiveness, thanks to pressures from the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 and a growing EU involvement. The number of OHR legislative initiatives and of dismissed officials lowered.

On 27 February 2007, the PIC
Peace Implementation Council
The Peace Implementation Council is an international body charged with implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council was established at an implementation conference held in London, United Kingdom on December 8 and 9, 1995, subsequent to the completion of the...

 decided to end the High Representative's mandate on 30 June 2008. The EU decision to shut down the OHR by June 2007 unexpectedly arose disappointment and concern in the Bosnian population, NGOs, and politicians.
However, since the PIC
Peace Implementation Council
The Peace Implementation Council is an international body charged with implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council was established at an implementation conference held in London, United Kingdom on December 8 and 9, 1995, subsequent to the completion of the...

 February 2008 review, it was decided to extend that mandate indefinitely until a set of positive benchmarks have been fulfilled.Office of the High Representative, 27 Feb 2008, accessed 21 Sept 2008

Conditions for closure of the Office of the High Representative


In February 2008 the Peace Implementation Council
Peace Implementation Council
The Peace Implementation Council is an international body charged with implementing the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council was established at an implementation conference held in London, United Kingdom on December 8 and 9, 1995, subsequent to the completion of the...

 set the conditions for closure of the OHR. The most critical issues will be considered objectives to be achieved by the BiH authorities before transition from OHR to a European Union presence can take place. From a long list of known priorities the PIC selected the key ones for transition, for closure of OHR:
  • Resolution of State Property
  • Resolution of Defence Property
  • Completion of the Brčko
    Brcko District
    Brčko District in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina is a neutral, self-governing administrative unit, under the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

     Final Award
  • Fiscal Sustainability of the State - completed as of May 2010, should be continuously sustained
  • Entrenchment of the Rule of Law - completed as of May 2010, should be continuously sustained

In addition to these objectives there are also two conditions:
  • signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement - completed on 16 June 2008
  • positive assessment of the situation in BiH by the PIC Steering Board - to be assessed after all others are completed

Additional non-written condition to be enforced trough the "assessment by the PIC Steering Board" final condition, was adopted later by the US and some EU countries:
  • reform of the constitution
    Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina
    The Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the highest legal document of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The current Constitution is the Annex 4 of The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement, signed in Paris on 14 December 1995...

     to comply with ECHR
    European Court of Human Rights
    The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

     decision of December 2009


Closure of the OHR is considered to be a pre-condition for EU membership and even for candidate status.

List of High Representatives

# Name Took Office Left Office Country
1 Carl Bildt
Carl Bildt
, Honorary KCMG is a Swedish politician, diplomat and nobleman. Formerly Prime Minister of Sweden from 1991 to 1994 and leader of the liberal conservative Moderate Party from 1986 to 1999, Bildt has served as Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs since 6 October 2006...

 
14 December 1995 18 June 1997 Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

2 Carlos Westendorp
Carlos Westendorp
Carlos Westendorp y Cabeza is a Spanish diplomat.He joined the Spanish Diplomatic Service in 1966.Following several assignments abroad and in Spain Carlos Westendorp y Cabeza (born 7 January 1937 in Madrid) is a Spanish diplomat.He joined the Spanish Diplomatic Service in 1966.Following several...

 
18 June 1997 18 August 1999 Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

3 Wolfgang Petritsch
Wolfgang Petritsch
Wolfgang Petritsch is an Austrian diplomat of Slovene ethnicity. He was born to a Carinthian Slovene family in Klagenfurt and spent his childhood in a partially Slovene, partially German-speaking environment. He has a PhD from the University of Vienna and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University...

 
18 August 1999 27 May 2002 Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

4 Paddy Ashdown
Paddy Ashdown
Jeremy John Durham Ashdown, Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, GCMG, KBE, PC , usually known as Paddy Ashdown, is a British politician and diplomat....

 
27 May 2002 31 January 2006 United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

5 Christian Schwarz-Schilling
Christian Schwarz-Schilling
Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling , is a German politician and entrepreneur. He is the son of the composer Reinhard Schwarz-Schilling and is married to the author Marie-Luise Schwarz-Schilling with whom he has two children...

 
31 January 2006 2 July 2007 Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

6 Miroslav Lajčák
Miroslav Lajcák
Dr. Miroslav Lajčák is a Slovak diplomat.Lajčák is a law graduate from the Comenius University in Bratislava. He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the State Institute of International Relations in Moscow and is also a graduate of the George C...

 
2 July 2007 26 March 2009 Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

7 Valentin Inzko
Valentin Inzko
Valentin Inzko is an Austrian diplomat of Carinthian Slovene origin. He is currently serving as the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, a role which he assumed on March 26, 2009. He is at the same time the European Union Special Representative for Bosnia and...

 
26 March 2009 Incumbent Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...


See also

  • EUFOR Althea
    EUFOR Althea
    European Union Force Althea is a military deployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina to oversee the military implementation of the Dayton Agreement. It is the successor to NATO's SFOR and IFOR. The transition from SFOR to EUFOR was largely a change of name and commanders: 80% of the troops remained in...

     - European
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

     peacekeeping
    Peacekeeping
    Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

     force for overseeing the military implementation of the Dayton agreement
    Dayton Agreement
    The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement, Dayton Accords, Paris Protocol or Dayton-Paris Agreement, is the peace agreement reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio in November 1995, and formally signed in Paris on...

    .
  • European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Police mission in the framework of the European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

    's Common Foreign and Security Policy
    Common Foreign and Security Policy
    The Common Foreign and Security Policy is the organised, agreed foreign policy of the European Union for mainly security and defence diplomacy and actions. CFSP deals only with a specific part of the EU's external relations, which domains include mainly Trade and Commercial Policy and other areas...

    , helping local police with organized crime
    Organized crime
    Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

     and police reform
    Reform
    Reform means to put or change into an improved form or condition; to amend or improve by change of color or removal of faults or abuses, beneficial change, more specifically, reversion to a pure original state, to repair, restore or to correct....

    .
  • Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo
    Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo
    The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Kosovo is an appointed by the Secretary-General to lead the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo...


External links