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Bosnia: Politics and Government

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the Solana-Rehn joint report to EU Foreign Ministers on the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and if he will make a statement. (240822)

I welcome the Solana-Rehn joint report entitled ‘EU's policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina: the way ahead’. The report is principally concerned with the future of the EU Special Representative's office in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and is a good start to an important discussion. The UK remains deeply concerned about the political situation in BiH, and will engage closely with EU partners on the issues raised in the report. We believe the EU needs to increase further its engagement in BiH.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the Solana-Rehn joint report to EU foreign ministers on the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. (240837)

We are not able to place a copy of the Solana-Rehn joint report to EU Foreign Ministers on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Library. The document is jointly owned by the Javier Solana (EU High Representative) and Olli Rehn (EU Commissioner for Enlargement) and is not in the public domain. However a summary of the report, which is in the public domain, will be placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the level of co-operation and consultation between the EU and NATO in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and if he will make a statement. (240838)

Both the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the EU remain deeply concerned about the current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At a joint NATO-EU discussion of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 27 October 2008, EU High Representative Javier Solana and the NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer underlined that the slowdown in reform progress and ongoing ethnic nationalist rhetoric was extremely worrying.

Both organisations continue to co-operate closely in their efforts to ensure Bosnia and Herzegovina makes progress on the reform priorities necessary for further EU-Atlantic integration. The EU Peacekeeping Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR) continues to operate under Berlin Plus arrangements, ensuring ongoing co-ordination of NATO and EU activities. The NATO Secretary General has highlighted the excellent working relationship between NATO and EU Commanders on the ground.