posted on Tue 15 Nov 2011 3:55 PM
Reauthorisation of EUFOR mandate in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Council appears to be on schedule to adopt a resolution reauthorising the mandate of EUFOR, the EU’s force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), tomorrow morning (Wednesday, 16 November). It seems the reauthorisation of EUFOR’s mandate will likely be a technical roll-over of resolution 1948, which reauthorised the multinational stabilisation force on 18 November last year.

The Council’s anticipated roll-over of this mandate follows the debate in the Council this morning on BiH, during which several Council members expressed support for the mandate being renewed for a further 12 months.

The debate included a briefing by the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, following his recent report on the situation in the country covering the period 21 April – 15 October. (Inzko noted that more than a year after the general elections, BiH remained without a state-level government and that this had contributed to the deterioration of the political situation during the reporting period. He also noted that the use of inflammatory nationalistic rhetoric continued and expressed “deep concern” about public statements perceived to be challenging the statehood of BiH by characterising the country as a “state union”.)

In today’s debate, several Council members noted that despite the situation in the country being largely stable and calm, the use of inflammatory rhetoric was not welcome. Some Council members affirmed that the focus should instead be on consolidating the institution-building process, EU and NATO accession and reaching agreement on the 2011 budget. The US noted that there were still several outstanding items on the 5+2 agenda (objectives and conditions to be met before closure of the Office of the High Representative). While several Council members praised the High Representative for his report during what had been a “difficult year”, Russia was more critical and questioned the report’s objectivity with respect to accusations against leaders of Republika Srpska. It also suggested that the High Representative’s work at times had gone beyond his mandate.