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Sarah questions Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso about reform in Bosnia

November 24, 2009 1:12 AM
By Sarah Ludford MEP in the European Parliament

Sarah Ludford (ALDE). - Chris Patten said the danger in the Balkans is that they pretend to reform and the EU pretends to believe them.

That seems to be happening in Bosnia, which is sliding alarmingly towards dysfunction if not destruction. The international community and the EU are perceived in Bosnia as failing to insist on reforms and failing to stand up to Milorad Dodik, Republika Srpska leader. The office of High Representative, while it still lasts, has been undermined and the authority of the international community weakened.

How would you answer the charge that the EU is running an agenda in the Western Balkans which is to the benefit of the Serbs in Belgrade and Bagna Luca - with the Bosniacs the losers?

Will you encourage the new High Representative and, when she is confirmed, Vice-President of the Commission, Cathy Ashton, to make Bosnia an absolutely top priority? How will you ensure that the EU's special representative has real leverage, a clear mandate and the united support of the EU behind him or her?