Balkanalysis on Twitter Briefing with Sabina Wölkner, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, June 2011

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina– On June 9, 2011 contributor Maja Šoštarić held a briefing with Sabina Wölkner, Director of Office of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

In light of the current political situation, state institutions in BiH are working in an inefficient manner. This hinders BiH to implement European standards. Germany has organized a series of consultations for Bosnian political party leaders in order to set up a constitutional reform process and to speed up the implementation of the judgment of Sejdić and Finci.

In the briefing, Ms Wölkner noted that regarding Germany’s foreign policy towards BiH, a certain flexibility is required, as political frictions within the country remain frequent. The Western Balkans remains a priority for EU foreign policy. However, as Ms Wölkner also underscored, currently the European Union and Germany have to tackle a number of other difficult issues such as the Euro-crisis.

In the briefing, the KAS director went on to emphasize that it is visible that the current set of EU’s enlargement instruments seem not to be enough to push the country through structural reforms. One reason is that though all political leaders basically agree on the idea of EU-integration, the way in which this should be achieved is disputed among them. There is generally a lack of compromise-oriented policy. This can be especially observed during the discussion on constitutional reforms.

Therefore, it was considered necessary to strengthen democratic institutions in BiH, especially the parliament, in order to establish an institutionalized and transparent parliamentary constitutional reform process, in which all political actors can participate. It was also considered important to raise civic awareness on the question of constitutional changes. As for now, this is not the case.

Finally, in the briefing Ms Wölkner noted that another important factor for stabilizing Bosnia would be the strengthening of regional cooperation. Croatia, which will soon become an EU member, could particularly help BiH on its integration path through the exchange and transfer of knowledge and experience.

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) is a German political foundation close to the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The main objectives of the Foundation’s activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina are: the functioning of political parties in parliamentary democracy; the integration of Bosnia & Herzegovina into the European Union; and dealing with the country’s difficult past in order to promote reconciliation.

In BiH, the Foundation organizes seminars, roundtables, conferences, consultations, programs of political dialogue, technical and political talks, as well as visits to countries in the region, Germany and the European institutions in cooperation with local and international partners. is an American research and analysis firm that provides dedicated coverage of the Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean regions, in areas ranging from politics and security to economics and culture. It draws on the expertise of its broad network of field analysts and reporters representing a number of various countries and professional backgrounds.

Balkanalysis Briefings is a regular series in which correspondents of, sometimes in affiliation with partner organizations, engage with representatives of companies, governmental institutions, non-governmental groups and other organizations professionally involved with the Balkan and Mediterranean regions in order to gain insight into issues, trends and other factors affecting present and future developments in the area. This process contributes to better analytical and prognostic research, allowing to better serve its readers, while also providing Briefings partners an opportunity to make their products, services and goals better and more clearly known among those most actively involved with the region.

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