On 31 January, representatives of the Bosniak American Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BAACBH) met with Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling, the High Representative and European Union Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dr. Schwarz-Schilling was accompanied by Dr. Catherine Bishop and Dr. Dieter Wolkewitz, political advisors to the High Representative.
BAACBH representatives expressed their appreciation for Dr. Schwarz-Schilling’s hard work as the High Representative and European Union Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dr. Schwarz-Schilling in turn expressed his appreciation at the opportunity to meet with representatives of BAACBH.
In discussing the importance of continuing the U.S. role in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Schwarz-Schilling encouraged BAACBH to persist in advocating for the active involvement of the United States in the region. Moreover, the participants agreed that there is a continued need for the presence of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina through the Office of the High Representative and its “Bonn powers.”
BAACBH and Dr. Schwarz-Schilling also talked about the importance of a new constitution, particularly in the context of potential European Union membership. The European Union, Dr. Schwarz-Schilling explained, needs to be convinced that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s new constitution fulfills the standards of the European Union. Furthermore, he said, the constitutional reform process needs a new approach where the Bosnian parliament is at the core of the process so that the constitution is formed from within the parliament, with civil society and all other relevant agencies actively involved.
In discussion of other issues, BAACBH representatives expressed their dissatisfaction that the Law on Citizenship Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially Article 17 of this Law, has not yet been amended in order to allow for dual citizenship. BAACBH asked for Dr. Schwarz-Schilling’s assistance with this matter.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the hosts thanked Dr. Schwarz-Schilling for his visit to the BAACBH office and presented him with the book “A Centennial of Bosniaks in America.”