High representative Paddy Ashdown commented in a press conference Tuesday, "The RS... has finally, it seems, turned its back on the future – and turned its back on Bosnia's future, too." Without giving details, he all but announced sanctions against the RS government and its ruling party, the SDS, over the next few days: "some consequences will follow quickly."
Police reform -- agreed to earlier in principle -- is one of the conditions for the EU to consider signing a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with Bosnia, which is now off the table -- for the time being.
Ashdown said, "The road to
He added, "I cannot break this logjam. The European Commission has, quite rightly, said that getting to
Ashdown had hoped to announce at the press conference concrete steps to transform his office (OHR) from overseer to facilitator, from "high representative" to "EU special representative," and to transfer competences to the national authorities. The RS, with its customary, impeccable sense of timing fully intact, smashed these plans one day after the French voters said non to the EU constitution, a rejection that also constituted in part a rejection of enlargement.
But, as Ashdown pointed out, it will be the people of Bosnia who will have to live with the consequences.
Will that be enough to sway the RS? Are Ashdown's words still designed to force the RS into line, or already a recognition that the situation is hopeless? Will OHR take this opportunity, thrown to it by the RS, to sweep politicians out of office one last time, before the "Bonn powers" disappear?