Hearing :: The Western Balkans: Policy Responses to Today’s Challenges

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HEARING



COMMISSION ON
SECURITY & COOPERATION IN EUROPE: 
U.S. HELSINKI COMMISSION

THE WESTERN BALKANS:  
CHALLENGES FOR U.S. AND EUROPEAN ENGAGEMENT

WITNESSES:
STUART JONES, 
DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

BJORN LYRVALL,
DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS,
SWEDISH MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

THE HEARING WAS HELD FROM 10:37 A.M. TO 12:13 P.M. IN THE CONGRESSIONAL 
VISITORS CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C., [SEN. BENJAMIN CARDIN (D-MD), CHAIRMAN, 
CSCE], MODERATING 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2009



SEN. BENJAMIN CARDIN (D-MD):  Let me welcome everybody to this hearing of the 
Helsinki Commission, the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.  On 
behalf of my cochairmen, Congressman Hastings and myself and Congressman 
Aderholt, we welcome all – everyone here today for the second hearing that 
we’re having on the Western Balkans, which has been a major focal point of this 
commission for many, many years.  

We had a hearing in April, the commission, on this subject which Chairman 
Hastings conducted and requested that we pay attention to this area, which I 
think was very important for us to do.  Expert witnesses had brought to our 
attention disturbing trends, particularly in Bosnia but also in Kosovo and some 
of the neighboring countries.  

So it may – we know Vice President Biden and the secretary-general of the 
European Council visited Sarajevo.  The vice president gave a stirring speech 
to the Bosnian parliament urging an end to nationalistic rhetoric and forward 
movement on reforms.  And shortly thereafter, I had the opportunity to lead a 
delegation to Bosnia, where we met with the political leadership.  

The delegation got an ample look at the wide and sometimes sharp division 
between the three groups.  Meeting some Bosnian students of all ethnicities 
later in our visit I think was very enlightening to all members of our 
delegation.  They saw the gap between what is necessary for a nation to survive 
and the active concerns of each of the ethnic groups.

I must tell you that my observations in visiting Bosnia was clear, and that is 
that there needs to be constitutional reform so the country can function as a 
country.  Now, that’s not to confuse with the dangers of nationalism.  They 
need to have a functioning national government that respects the rights of all 
of the ethnic divisions within that country, and to date, that formula has been 
missing.  There needs to be pride in a unified nation, and that simply was not 
being promoted by the leaders during our visit, and that was very clear.  And 
we left that country urging them to move forward with constitutional reform.  

The Obama administration grasped right away the situation in the Balkans, 
particularly in Bosnia, and remains unsettled.  This concern prompted the vice 
president’s mission to Sarajevo, Belgrade, Pristina.  We have not seen Bosnia 
move forward with vigorous constitutional-reform efforts.  Instead, we learn of 
the continued gridlock in the central government with ethnic disputes over 
appointments and hear charged rhetoric at the highest level suggesting that 
Bosnia’s very existence could well be in jeopardy.  The commission takes these 
continued slides very, very seriously.

Meanwhile, in Kosovo, there have been additional bilateral recognitions of an 
independent statehood, which obviously is extremely positive, but we do not 
hear of much progress in other areas that are important, even with the 
deployment of the status-neutral EU rule-of-law mission.  Recent incidents 
suggest the need for more active and vigorous work to build institutions and 
foster dialogue.

Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia also have their own challenges, some 
related to Bosnia and Kosovo and some unique to their own internal dynamics.  
Even in Croatia, which has made enormous strides in the last decades, still 
needs to contend with issues related to earlier conflicts.  This past year I 
have been in Croatia and saw a very vibrant country that is making incredible 
progress, and when I reflect that it’s just a few years ago there was active 
war in that country, they’re clearly making the type of progress we would like 
to see.

I also had a chance to visit Montenegro.  I took a commission delegation into 
Montenegro.  What a country, what a potential – a small country and population 
that could have an incredible impact.  They seem to get a long with all their 
neighbors; that formula is one that we would like to duplicate in the region.  

So we are encouraged by the recent breakthrough in Slovenia on border issues.  
That hopefully will pave the way for Croatia soon to enter the EU.  EU and NATO 
accessions remain the foundation of western strategy for the entire region.  
Our hearing today will touch on some of these problems.  Most importantly, 
we’ll focus on what the United States and the European Union are doing, are 
should be doing, in response.  

Is there a plan to break the continuing deadlock that threatens Bosnia’s 
stability?  Is it possible to make progress on badly needed constitutional 
reform?  Will the high representative remain in place until the job is done?  
What is being done to overcome Kosovo’s ethnic divide, particularly in the 
north, and to bring the Albanians and Serbs together at least to find some 
common ground?  Is the international presence there an effective deterrent to 
renewed violence?  These are just a few of the questions that I hope that we 
will be able to discuss at today’s hearing.  I hope our discussion today sends 
a strong signal to the Western Balkans that is positive and encouraging. 

Our two witnesses are key players in U.S. and E.U. policy development and 
coordination.  First, we’ll hear from Stuart Jones, the deputy assistant 
secretary of state for European affairs and holder of the department’s Balkan 
portfolio.  Our second witness will be Mr. Lyrvall, the director general for 
political affairs in the foreign ministry of Sweden.  Sweden currently holds 
the presidency of the EU and speaks collectively for its members.  Let me turn 
to the cochairmen of the commission, Mr. Hastings, for comments that he might 
want to make.

REP. ALCEE HASTINGS (D-FL):  Thank you, Chairman Cardin, and I thank you for 
convening this hearing today.  As you mentioned, the hearing in April on the 
Western Balkans and Bosnia, we had Paddy Ashdown as well as a panel of experts 
based in the Balkans, and their presentations about the challenges facing the 
region revealed disturbing trends, particularly in Bosnia but also in Kosovo.  
And I concluded that hearing with a call for a part two, and Mr. Chairman, 
before we even get into this one, I can tell you that there’s going to be a 
need for a part three.

I also want to thank our witnesses for being present today.  I believe that if 
asked, practically every diplomat would generally express a preference that 
parliamentarians go away and leave them alone, but Deputy Assistant Secretary 
Jones in the State Department, however, understands not only the necessity but 
the advantages of partnership in foreign-policy making across the branches of 
government.  Over the years, it has also become clear that this bicameral and 
bipartisan commission is perhaps the best example of that partnership in action.

The goal of this hearing today is not to criticize policy but to share views 
and ideas on improving policy to the benefit of the people in the countries of 
the Western Balkans.  As one witness noted in April, the mere holding of a 
hearing in the U.S. Congress sends a signal of interest that she felt can have 
its own positive reverberations in the countries of concern.  Let’s hope that 
today’s hearing will have that effect.

Finally, I want to thank our witness from the Swedish foreign ministry, Mr. 
Lyrvall, for being here today.  Sweden currently holds the E.U. presidency, and 
it must be a very difficult task to speak for all 27 member states.  It is 
important to have Europe’s views on the Western Balkans, however, because U.S. 
policy in the region is so closely tied to that of the European Union.  

I want to express the commission’s particular appreciation that you responded 
to our invitation on fairly short notice, after some officials from Brussels 
declined our invitation to testify today.  Your embassy here in Washington was 
very helpful in facilitating your presence here today, and as I said to you, I 
know that my good friend, the chair of foreign affairs in Sweden, will be here 
with a delegation of parliamentarians, and we intend to accommodate them in 
appropriate fashion.

I’ll refrain from discussing specific policy options right now at the opening, 
but let me conclude by noting that I’ve traveled, as you heard the chair and I 
know our colleague Mr. Aderholt, as other members of the commission have, 
throughout the Balkans.  I’ve not only met with senior officials but talked to 
citizens voting on election days, most recently in Albania.  I visited camps 
for displaced persons such as those that still exist for Roma in Kosovo.  I 
actually watched people scramble for cover away from sniper fire in Sarajevo 
during the war, and I met courageous human-rights activists.  

The people of the Balkans are, regardless of their various ethnicities, some of 
the most sincere, hospitable and friendly people I have met.  In Albania, Mr. 
Chairman, honest to goodness, I saw more American flags there than we have here 
on the Fourth of July, and it was very interesting to me.  I didn’t know much 
about Albania – I’d been to Kosovo and Bosnia and Croatia a lot, but I had only 
been there at that time, and as citizens of OSCE states that have pledged to 
respect their rights and dignity, they are – they deserve to be treated as such 
by their leaders and by the international community.  I hope that as we look at 
policy options to bring stability and encourage integration in the Balkans, the 
people in the region need to be – the people in the region need to be our 
priority concern.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  

SEN. CARDIN:  Congressman Aderholt.

REP. ROBERT ADERHOLT (R-AL):  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I also want to thank 
the chairman and the co-chair for their vision of bringing this hearing today 
before us to concentrate a little bit on the Balkan region.  The Balkan region 
is a very intriguing place, a real beautiful place.  I, too, like my 
colleagues, have had the opportunity to travel over there, most recently 
traveled to Bosnia – actually, twice this year – and also, as well, as I 
traveled to Albania and Macedonia.  But the entire Balkan region is a – really 
a beautiful part of the world.  It has so much to offer, and it impacts the 
entire world.

So I’ll probably have some more comments a little bit later, but I just want to 
thank our witnesses for being here today, and I look forward to your testimony 
and look forward to a good hearing.  Thank you.

SEN. CARDIN:  Thank you.  Secretary Jones, we appreciate very much that you are 
with us today.  As I pointed out earlier, Secretary Jones is the deputy 
assistant secretary of state for European affairs and holds the department’s 
Balkan portfolio.  Thank you for being here.  You may proceed to your full 
statement; it will be included in our record and you may proceed as you see fit.

STUART JONES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and distinguished members of the 
commission for this invitation today.  The Helsinki Commission has played, and 
I’m reassured to hear you say it today that you will continue to play – ah, 
thank you – that you will continue to play a significant role in fostering 
stability and development in the Balkans.  So I welcome this opportunity to 
discuss with you the challenges ahead. 

A decade of hard work has brought us much closer to realizing our goal of 
including the Western Balkans in a Europe whole, free and at peace.  All of the 
countries have undergone dramatic political and social transitions in recent 
years.  With Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February 2008, the final 
chapter in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia was closed.  In April of this 
year, Croatia and Albania became members of the NATO Alliance.  Macedonia too 
will receive an invitation to join the alliance as soon as the dispute with 
Greece over its name is resolved.  Serbia and Montenegro completed an orderly 
separation and are developing their democracies.

All of these countries are committed to and have taken steps towards eventual 
membership of the European Union.  Perhaps even more fundamentally, publics and 
political establishment throughout the region today embrace a vision of their 
region’s integration into the European mainstream.  They also recognize that 
reform is the only path that will lead to this goal.

The United States’ commitment to the region is steadfast.  Vice President 
Biden’s May visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo underscored our 
commitment to work to help the countries of the region realize their 
Euro-Atlantic aspirations.  Together, we have told the parties that the United 
States and our European partners will assist where we can to facilitate 
resolution of bilateral and internal disputes that obstruct integration and 
reform.  But in the final analysis, as Congressman Hastings said, the burden of 
achieving their aspirations rests of these countries, their leaders and their 
people.  Mr. Chairman, to save time for the committee’s priority concerns, I 
would like to highlight conditions in just three of the countries in the 
Western Balkans.  

To Bosnia first, and I would like to associate myself with your remarks on the 
situation in Bosnia.  I agree with you analysis, and as the vice president made 
clear during his May 19th speech before the Bosnian parliament, we are 
concerned with conditions in Bosnia today.  Political discourse is polarized, 
reforms have ground to a halt and in some cases are being rolled back.  Twelve 
months away from their next national election, political leaders appear to have 
quit trying to find the compromises that would create momentum towards European 
integration.  

In an effort to reverse this dynamic, we are focused on two areas:  The first 
is completing the so-called 5-plus-2 objectives and conditions established by 
the Peace Implementation Counsel.  Fulfillment of 5-plus-2 is fundamental for 
Bosnia to advance its goals of NATO and E.U. membership.  Two of the five 
objectives remain outstanding.  These are resolving ownership of state and 
defense property between the levels of government.  It’s essential that these 
be resolved in full prior to OHR’s closure to ensure the EU special 
representative can begin with a clean slate.

The Peace Implementation Counsel must also make a positive assessment of the 
situation in Bosnia based on full compliance with the Dayton Agreement.  The 
second core area, as you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, is constitutional reform.  
The Dayton constitution’s basic elements, such as the two-entity structure, can 
and should remain intact.  However, Dayton can be updated to allow Bosnia to 
meet the obligations of EU and NATO membership.  

Apart from 5-plus-2 and transition of the Office of the High Representative, we 
have begun in formal conversations with the parties about possible reforms, 
with the goal of achieving a modest initial package of reforms well in advance 
of the October 2010 elections.  These would be – these would improve the 
functionality of the state and better position Bosnia for E.U. candidacy and 
the NATO membership process.  We are collaborating closely with our European 
partners to develop reforms that would achieve this goal, and I’m delighted 
that you are going to hear from my colleague from Sweden, Björn Lyrvall, the 
political director from the Foreign Ministry of Sweden.

Moving next to Kosovo.  Kosovo’s success as an independent multiethnic 
democracy within its borders is now contributing to region-wide stability.  A 
year-and-a-half after Kosovo’s declaration of independence, its leaders have 
made tremendous progress in implementing Martti Ahtisaari’s Comprehensive Plan. 
 They are building roads and schools as well as ministries and agencies.  
Sixty-two countries now recognize the Republic of Kosovo as an independent 
state, and many more supported its membership for IMF and World Bank – for a 
membership in the World Bank and the IMF.

Kosovo’s independence is irreversible.  Of course, much remains to be done.  
Vice President Biden urged the government to redouble efforts to strengthen 
governing capacity, develop a sound economy, strengthen rule of law and tackle 
crime and corruption when he visited in May.  Equally importantly, he urged 
outreach to Kosovo’s Serb community to build dialogue, establish strong 
protections for Serbs and other minorities and improve conditions for the 
return of the displaced.  We are actively engaged with Serbs all over Kosovo to 
provide assistance and encourage their interaction with Kosovo institutions in 
order to enhance the sustainability of their communities as part of a secure, 
democratic and multiethnic Kosovo.

Third, a stable, prosperous, democratic Serbia is essential to regional 
stability and cooperation.  Vice President Baden’s visit to Belgrade in May 
underlined our desire to see a reinvigorated U.S.-Serbian relationship.  We 
support Serbia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.  Our 
military-to-military relationship is becoming more robust.  Serbia’s 
partnership with the Ohio National Guard is a model for the region.  President 
Tadic cemented these ties when he visited and was warmly received in Cleveland 
last week.  As the Vice President conveyed to President Tadic, we can agree to 
disagree with Serbia over Kosovo.  But together, we should also pursue 
pragmatic solutions to improve the lives of Serbs in Kosovo and to ensure that 
they have a voice in their communities.  

Mr. Chairman, the United States remains a major assistance donor to the Western 
Balkans.  In 2009 alone, we allocated more than $116 million in support of 
programs aimed at promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law.  Our 
continued strong support for the OSCE missions in the region adds a multiplier 
effect in helping the Western Balkans develop stable institutions and 
societies.  

Ensuring governments uphold protections ad rights of minorities so that they 
may have an equitable voice and stake in their country’s future remains a focus 
of our work.  Although governments have made strides, ethnic and religious 
minority communities continue to face instances of abuse and discrimination.  
The region’s Roma still remain among the most imperiled, and nowhere is this 
program more salient than in Kosovo, where we are working to relocate Roma 
living in a lead-poisoned camp in North Mitrovica.  The region as a whole has 
also made progress in combating trafficking in persons.  All the western Balkan 
countries either comply fully with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s 
minimum requirements or are making significant efforts to bring themselves into 
compliance.  We will continue working to improve their efforts.

The conduct of elections in the region has also seen overall improvement.  
March elections in Montenegro met almost all OSCE and Council of Europe 
commitments.  Although in Macedonia 2008 elections fell short, 2009 elections 
were judged by ODIHR to have met most international standards.  Albania’s June 
28 elections also showed tangible progress over previous elections, including 
improvements in voter registration and identification and in the legal 
framework.  ODIHR judged that they met most OSCE commitments but fell short of 
Albania’s potential to meet the highest standards for democratic elections.  

Areas for improvement were identified in ballot counting and tabulation, media 
bias and pressure on public servants by political parties in government during 
the campaign.  But the new government of Albania has acknowledged these 
shortcomings and has committed itself to address them in future legislation and 
procedures.  Looking ahead, Kosovo will hold municipal elections this November, 
its first as an independent country, and we are providing significant support.  

Crime and corruption remain serious problems hindering political and economic 
development in the region.  Many of our assistance programs are aimed at 
reducing opportunities for bribery, building oversight and audit capabilities 
and also bolstering an independent judiciary and other activities.  To cite 
just one example, our Model Court Initiative in Bosnia, completed in May, 
helped to institute European standards in 33 local courts, upgrade court 
infrastructure and improve customer service.  This resulted in a reduction in 
case backlogs by up to 75 percent.  Bosnia is now implementing the Model Court 
standards throughout its court system.  

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia continues to play 
a central role in promoting peace, justice and reconciliation in the former 
Yugoslavia.  Since 1993, the ICTY has brought 161 indictments and concluded 
proceedings against 116 persons, with 57 convictions and 10 acquittals.  Two 
fugitives, Ratko Mladi? and Goran Gaji?, have yet to be captured.  They will 
not escape justice by outlasting the tribunal.  Our strong support for the ICTY 
will continue until its work is completed.

In sum, the region has come a long way, but the journey is not complete.  
America has a deep and abiding stake in the region’s success.  In concert with 
our European partners bilaterally and through the OSCE and NATO, the Obama 
administration is intensifying our engagement with the region, pressing to 
accelerate reforms that will move the Balkans towards the European mainstream.  
We will continue to build on this hard-won foundation until democracy, openness 
and modernity eclipse ethnic nationalism, intolerance and discrimination and so 
that all the countries in the region may take their place in Europe.  Thank 
you, and – thank you again for this opportunity, and of course I would welcome 
any questions you may have.  

SEN. CARDIN:  Well, Secretary Jones, let me thank you for your comprehensive 
statement.  (Laughter.)  You’ve covered just about every point that I would 
have wanted you to cover, so I thank you for the comprehensive nature.  

And just to make an observation before asking a few questions, if this hearing 
would have been a year ago, I think our concerns would have been different.  
And that’s to point out that things have gotten, in some cases, much worse than 
we had anticipated a year ago, requiring us to place priority on it.  So I’m 
glad you mentioned Bosnia first in your list of concerns.  We obviously are 
very concerned about what’s happening in Kosovo and Serbia, and I appreciate 
you putting a spotlight on that, and you mentioned many other countries – every 
country in the region of which we have concerns.

Let me just share with you a story about my visit to Montenegro.  It was the 
first U.S. congressional delegation to Montenegro since its recent 
independence.  And in preparation for that visit, the Helsinki Commission gives 
me my normal background materials and they say, you know, you’re going to be 
asked about economic ties between the United States and Montenegro because it’s 
a country that is just starting to emerge and Americans don’t know much about 
it; it’s a beautiful country on the Adriatic.  And, yes, that was raised, but 
it was not their main focus.

And then I got all of these briefing documents about how Montenegro has been 
able to become independent of Serbia, maintain a relationship with Serbia yet 
recognize Kosovo and have a good relationship with every country in the region.

So we were expecting that their leadership would sort of boast about that 
issue, about how they’ve done that and know that they would want to talk to us 
about the U.S. commitments in the region.  And, yes, that was brought up; it 
was not their top priority.

By far they were focused on Bosnia – focused on Bosnia.  They said, if we don’t 
work out Bosnia, it threatens Montenegro.  There is a significant refugee issue 
of people coming across the border from Bosnia into Montenegro that could 
affect the stability of that country.  Remember, it’s a country of under a 
million people so a small shift in population can have a major impact on that 
nation.

So they mentioned to me Bosnia.  And then we look at what is happening; we see 
the statements from the leadership of the Republic of Srpska, which are 
obviously fueling the flames of nationalism in that region, and we sort of 
wonder.  They also question whether the high representative should leave 
immediately knowing full well that that’s been, in some cases, our only break 
from changes that could move that nation backwards and could lead it to 
potential conflict.

So I guess my question to you is, what do we expect from Europe and the United 
States to make sure that the country of Bosnia can survive?  And I really think 
we’re at that point where its survival is in question.

Just a year ago, we were talking about moving forward towards integration.  Now 
we’re talking about trying to save a nation.

MR. JONES:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Of course, I share your concerns and I 
appreciate this opportunity to talk about the situation in Bosnia.  We are very 
concerned about the situation in Bosnia.  We are worried about the divisive 
nature of the political discourse.

So what can be done?  That is the question.  First of all, I think we have to 
work in concert with our European partners.  And I think that not only the 
symbolism but the substance of the vice president’s trip to Bosnia in May with 
Javier Solana, the EU high representative, sent a very important message to the 
parties, that the United States and Europe are in this together, that we are 
invested in finding solutions for Bosnia as we go forward and that there will 
be no space between us.  I think that’s an important message for all of the 
parties there.

Secondly, obviously, we should be moving towards – Bosnia towards transition.  
The people across the board, regardless of ethnic group, support European 
integration there.  So that’s a common thread that we can build on.

We also find surprising support for NATO membership, though certainly not as 
widespread.  So I think we need to tap into the aspirations of the Bosnian 
people for European and trans-Atlantic integration.

SEN. CARDIN:  Just for one second, I agree with what you’re saying, including 
NATO membership.  But there is no way that they are going to become NATO 
members unless they have a national government that can function.  We’re not 
going to open up NATO unless we know that there is a country that can speak for 
its people – and they’re moving in the wrong direction from that today.

MR. JONES:  I agree.  And – which comes to your original point, which is the 
need for constitutional reform.  And we think that the parties need to come 
together to discuss a package of constitutional reforms in the time remaining 
before they get into the electoral season for their October 2000 (sic) 
elections.  And the electoral reform should be aimed specifically at 
functionality, that the state needs to be able to function, looking towards the 
day when the OHR goes away.  So that is the focus of our attention:  working 
with the parties, thinking about which constitutional reforms will address this 
issue of functionality and how we can move the parties towards compromise and 
solution on these issues.

SEN. CARDIN:  Let me just turn quickly to Kosovo and Serbia and how we are 
progressing in our relationship with both of those countries.  Kosovo has made 
some progress; there is no question about it.  It seems to be at sort of a 
standstill right now as far as some of the reforms that we would like to see 
and, of course, the relationship with Serbia vis-à-vis Russia is still unclear 
as to whether Russia will let the international community move forward with 
total recognition of Kosovo, particularly in the United Nations.

I appreciate your observations here.  I do want to make – want to underscore 
two points that you made.  In regards to the International Criminal Court and 
the fact that two indictees have been long-standing avoiding accountability, I 
concur in your conclusion that we will not yield on this.  

But it will be helpful if we send a very clear message on that to Serbia 
including the conditionalities that we put that Congress continuously puts in 
the appropriations bill including the fact that for complete integration, this 
issue needs to be successfully resolved so that we can conclude our commitment 
to bring justice to the victims who were victimized by these war crimes.

And the second point I appreciate you mentioning the Roma population.  It has 
been a high priority for this commission.  And in Kosovo that is an issue that 
needs to be dealt with and addressed.  And we’ll be watching that closely.  And 
I am pleased to see the initiative in regards to the community whose health is 
at risk.

Could you just update us a little bit more as to what role you think Russia is 
playing as it relates to both the U.S. and Europe’s involvement in Kosovo and 
Serbia?

MR. JONES:  Thank you.  Certainly Russia’s view on Kosovo is different from 
ours.  They do not recognize Kosovo as a new republic.  They believe that it 
should still continue to be treated as part of Serbia.  On this point, we just 
have a fundamental disagreement.  And I don’t see any prospect for these points 
of view to come together in the near future.

Nonetheless, as we are with Serbia, I think we can agree to disagree on the 
issue of Kosovo’s independence and work with the Russians to recognize the 
rights of Serbs in Kosovo and to recognize that the stability of the region is 
paramount.  And that’s been the nature of my conversations with my Russian 
counterparts.

In Bosnia, Russia, of course, is a member of the peace implementation 
committee.  And they are a part of our discussions on the 5-plus-2 
conditionality and the eventual transition of the Office of the High Rep.  And 
in my conversations, again, with my Russian counterpart, there is no 
disagreement between us that the 5-plus-2 needs to be fulfilled and has not yet 
been fulfilled.

SEN. CARDIN:  Well, let me ask you one final question on Macedonia. Your 
optimism about that issue – do you know something about the Greek elections 
that we don’t know? 

MR. JONES:  You know better than me not to bet on elections, Senator.

SEN. CARDIN:  Well, I take it that regardless of what party wins in the Greek 
elections, this issue would be difficult to resolve before an election.  So I 
take it that the elections in Greece will provide a new opportunity to engage 
this issue and hopefully get a successful resolution.

MR. JONES:  We certainly hope so.  We have had, you know, extensive contact 
with both the Macedonian and Greek governments on this issue over a period of 
several months and years, of course.  We have been gratified, of course, by the 
statements and the behavior of the Macedonian government, particularly in the 
last eight months.  And I think that the Macedonian government should be 
commended for improving the atmosphere, the bilateral atmosphere that would 
facilitate a solution.  So we’ll wait for the elections and then we will pick 
up where we left off and encourage both governments to work forward.

I would also like to take note of the U.N. process that is being led by U.N. 
negotiator Matt Nimitz.  He, of course, has the responsibility for advancing 
this process.  He takes it very seriously and he had very constructive contact 
with both governments through the course of the summer.  So hopefully that will 
bode well for the post-election atmosphere in Greece and Macedonia.

SEN. CARDIN:  Thank you.  Congressman Hastings?

REP. HASTINGS:  Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Jones.  Mr. Chairman, 
I do very much thank you.  You have covered a lot of ground in a short period 
of time.  And, Mr. Jones, thank you for being as forthright as you have been.

I was handed a piece of paper just in the last 15 minutes and I haven’t had a 
chance to fully digest it.  But the takeaway from the head note says, 
“Late-breaking developments:  Serbs Repudiate Decisions by High Representative 
of Brcko District Supervisor in Latest Sign of Serious Deterioration.”  It goes 
on to say the Republic of Srpska repudiates all decisions by this supervisor.  
And then in the second section, third paragraph, I’ll read from it.  It says:  
“The Republic of Srpska Prime Minister Milorad Dodik is apparently preparing 
the ground for a showdown with the international community on the 
radicalization of nationalist sentiment that invariably accompanies the advent 
of an election year.”

Bring us current.  This took place, these statements, on September 22nd and, in 
addition, he alleges that he is going to, if they have not already filed suit 
including against Paddy Ashdown who we had here previously.  What is the upshot 
of all of this?

MR. JONES:  Well, thank you, Congressman.  We are very concerned about the 
recent political rhetoric in Bosnia, particularly surrounding the national 
electric company, Transco, which is owned by the state.  And recently the high 
representative exercising his bond powers has reorganized that company to make 
it more functional.  We support that decision, but this has drawn a very sharp 
reaction from Republic of Srpska Prime Minister Milorad Dodik.

There are a lot of elements to the politics.  I think it’s enough to say that 
we support the high representative’s decision.  We regret the sharp rhetoric 
along nationalistic lines that has been employed by the prime minister.  And 
our ambassador in Sarajevo is working to find solutions to these problems.  

But nothing that has been done is outside – in our view – is outside of the 
executive mandate of the high representative.  And, indeed, the measures taken 
by the deputy high representative, who of course is an American, were 
pre-ordained in the final award surrounding Brcko at the end of the war.

So we think that all of this has been done, handled in a careful and legalistic 
manner.  We regret the political difficulty that has ensued.  We hope that 
we’ll be able to find a swift solution to it.  But certainly using 
nationalistic themes to address these problems is not the best way forward.

REP. HASTINGS:  Have we taken a position regarding any timetable – and I’m not 
suggesting one – for the closure of the Office of the High Representative?

MR. JONES:  The only timeframe – the only – certainly not a timeframe.  The 
only – what we have said is that when the five conditions and two objectives 
are completed, and only then, will we support the idea of transition from the 
high representative to the EU special representative.

Now, I should say, I look forward to the day when we can make that transition.  
I think that will be a positive transition.  But certainly the conditions and 
objectives need to be met.  And, of course, the second condition is paramount, 
which is that the peace implementation committee, council, together decides 
that there is stability in Bosnia under the Dayton Agreements.

SEN. CARDIN:  I would like to get your views before we hear from Europe.  Do 
you think Europe shares that commitment of standing behind the high 
representative until the goals have been met?

MR. JONES:  Well, of course, Europe has 27 members and there is a range of 
views.  But, overall, I think that there is an understanding that we have 
agreed that the 5-plus-2 has to be honored.  That was what the peace 
implementation council – which includes several European members, several 
members of the EU in it – agreed in 2007.  

So that is the assumption with which we are moving forward.  Perhaps some 
individual members have a different position and of course they are entitled to 
it.  But any decision by the peace implementation council will have to be by 
consensus.

REP. HASTINGS:  And while the EU has immense responsibilities, just as a 
general observation, it would seem to me that there have been as many things to 
delay further enlargement and not exert political pressure toward implementing 
the process that everybody seems to suggest that the European and Euro-Atlantic 
integration of the Balkans that the United States and the EU are sharing in 
that regard.

Ambassador, here is where my problem is:  Talk is cheap.  And I came to 
Congress with this issue being a vital issue and I’m sure that it has been a 
vital issue of concern all of my lifetime.  But in order to achieve the 
objectives of the 5-plus-2 just as a for example, it would seem to me that it 
would require a term that I use that I don’t believe is a term of art, “hot 
diplomacy.”  And I use that because I believe there have to be coordinated 
efforts.  

And I’ve seen too many places in the world where world powers let small areas 
down and those areas fomented into additional difficulties for world powers.  
That said, in this particular region, it would seem to me that the United 
States and the European Union would be coordinating serious ongoing efforts.  I 
am appreciative of the fact that the vice president visited, but if I could use 
an analogy – and I mean this because I’ve seen this in my lifetime – I’ve seen 
when major civil rights problems were going on, major civil rights national 
leaders whose names were in the newspaper would show up at the little areas and 
they would make the big statements about what they were going to do and then 
they’d leave and wouldn’t a damn thing be done.

So the fact that there is no follow up is what I’m talking about.  When I was 
in Albania, there is added reason right there for us to be encouraging the 
Albanians to complete that highway that they take great pride in going into 
Kosovo.  If I were to move back into the other area, I don’t hear very much in 
the way of summitry (ph).

And one of the things that happens to us that the EU needs to get straight is, 
in my judgment, we have a lot on our table.  I mean, you know, we are talking 
about this area and it’s critical we have actually had boots on the ground 
there for a substantial period of time.  Hopefully we are able to keep the 
peace in bits and places.

I was impressed in Kosovo at the U.N. mission there, one of the best that I’ve 
seen operating around the world.  But then, at the same time, you know, our 
president right now is having to deal with Afghanistan, the finishing up of 
whatever is happening in Iraq; Iran is right around the corner.  And yet I 
don’t see the intense effort that I would like to see in Bosnia or in Serbia or 
Croatia or Montenegro or certainly Kosovo where I see that area – me, 
personally – as a tinder box that could explode at any minute.  

And unless we get to that and stop fiddling around with technical talk and 
start building some roads and some schools and some implementation of these 
measures then I think that all we are doing is setting up part three, part four 
and part ad infinitum.  Okay?  Thank you, Mr. Chair.

SEN. CARDIN:  Thank you for your comments.  Congressman Aderholt?

REP. ADERHOLT:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  One core issue I think you started 
out in your comments talking about the Bosnia.  And I think this question would 
particularly apply to Bosnia but also to all of the Balkan countries.  In 
regard to the global economic downturn, what particular impact have you seen it 
on Bosnia and the other Balkan countries and what do you expect to see in the 
future?

MR. JONES:  I think that the Balkans has been impacted by the global economic 
downturn, though in different ways than much of the rest of Europe.  Because 
some of these economies were not as integrated into the European banking system 
as, say, countries in Central Europe, they have not been affected in quite that 
way.

And, yet, they are all seeing a reduction in remittances sent back by foreign 
workers living in other parts of Europe.  They have certainly run into now a 
greater difficulty in obtaining credits.  For the most part, they are adapting. 
 And Serbia and Bosnia are working now closely with the IMF.  Croatia and 
Albania have been able to find credits on the commercial market.

So they are moving through it.  But we have seen a significant downturn in the 
economy in just commercial activity and governments peeling back, cutting 
government salaries.  There is a real hardship there.

REP. ADERHOLT:  Well, I know that I – as I mentioned, I was in the Balkans 
twice earlier this year.  And it was, of course, at that time, everything was 
still in flux and was still – hadn’t really gelled as far as the economic 
downturn.

But when I was in Albania, you know, I was very encouraged to see the 
construction of the highway there.  And I have not heard updated recently – do 
you have an update of when that is to be completed, the Kosovo-Albania highway?

MR. JONES:  Well, the highway is largely complete.  It was inaugurated in June 
and it is now possible to drive from the Port of Dures all the way up to the 
Kosovo border.  And I agree with you, Congressman; this is a tremendous asset 
for the entire region because it’s going to facilitate transport not only for 
Albania and not only for Kosovo, but for all the countries in the region.

I think that there is now some additional work being done on some of the 
tunnels and there is another tunnel to be opened.  So it’s not – it hasn’t 
reached its full scope of completion, but it – cars are going back and forth.

REP. ADERHOLT:  That’s great.  That’s great to hear.  When I was there earlier 
this year, the tunnel was being worked on.  And so I know it was a major 
construction project, probably one of the most major construction projects in 
all of Europe.

MR. JONES:  And, of course, we’re delighted that it – being – was engineered 
and created by a U.S. firm.

REP. ADERHOLT:  Absolutely, absolutely.  But also, too, a country that also 
sometimes – that is not mentioned; there are so many aspects of that country I 
think should be applauded – and that’s Macedonia.  You know, the information 
that I have received that World Bank now has ranked Macedonia as the third in 
the world for being among the best reformers, to have it approved as far as a 
business climate.

Also I understand that they’re continuing to work on combating human 
trafficking and, of course, the issue that I think we think of most closely 
when we think of Macedonia, we think of the name issue, which is the big issue 
right now.

But I was over – as I mentioned – I was in Macedonia earlier this year and met 
with our ambassador over there and had a good discussion with our U.S. 
ambassador over there.  I’ll continue to have a good relationship with our – 
with the Macedonian ambassador here to the United States.

But I think their continued good faith with their – with Greece as far as the 
name issue; I know it’s a very difficult issue and I think they’ve been showing 
real courage to work with U.N. secretary-general special envoy on this and to 
try to resolve this.  So again, the troop involvement that they have in 
Afghanistan should not go unnoticed.  So again, Macedonia has done tremendous 
good things and we have had a great working relationship with them and so we 
continue to look forward to working with that country.  Thank you for your 
testimony.

SEN. CARDIN:  Thank you, Congressman Aderholt.  We have been joined by the 
longest-serving member on the Helsinki Commission, the former chairman of the 
Helsinki Commission, the ranking Republican, the congressman from New Jersey, 
Chris Smith.

REP. CHRIS SMITH (R-NJ):  Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.  I apologize for 
being late.   I would ask that my full statement be made a part of the record.

SEN. CARDIN:  Without objection.

REP. SMITH:  And, Mr. Secretary, thank you for your testimony.  I’ve just read 
it and I really appreciate your insights and the comprehensiveness of your 
statement, but also of your leadership.  

Let me just ask you, when you talked about the elements of the two-entity 
structure, the need to keep that intact because of the sharp differences 
between the disparate parties, you do make the point about eventually there 
needs to be change and initial package reforms need to be put into place.  
Could you elaborate on what is really essential for EU and NATO membership and 
where we are in terms of that state of play in terms of the various parties?  

What really has to be done quickly in order to – because I, like you, and I 
think like everybody on our commission believes that constitution reform is 
absolutely essential if Bosnia is to emerge as a flourishing democracy.  The 
idea of very small numbers of parliamentarians stopping legislation from 
growing forward just hinders progress beyond recognition.  But if you could 
talk about that package of reforms and where we are in terms of putting those 
forward, and what has to be done, maybe with even some timeline focus.

MR. JONES:  Thank you, Congressman.  Certainly to qualify for European EU 
membership Bosnia is going to have to undertake some reforms to address 
shortcomings in the Dayton Agreement that are at odds with the European 
Convention on Human Rights.  So the Venice Commission has done an analysis of 
the Dayton Agreement and has made a series of proposals.  And I think that’s 
largely agreed by all the parties that that should be undertaken.  This would 
allow, for example, a Bosnian citizen who is not a member of any of the largest 
three ethnic groups to rise to senior office in the government to the 
presidency, et cetera.  There are several other elements of that nature.

We would also favor a look at executive powers and we think that in order to 
move Bosnia forward on its European track, we think that the issues of state 
competencies and entity competencies should be addressed.  Now, I should be 
clear – Björn Lyrvall, who will speak after me, can be more direct an expert on 
this than me – but those measures are not required for European accession.  And 
so this is really about getting the parties together to decide what kind of 
state they want to have.

But they need a functional state. They need a state that’s able to make 
decisions and move towards Europe.  They need a state that is going to take 
responsibility for both the NATO accession process and the EU accession 
process.  And I think by looking at those three areas, the European Commission 
of Human Rights, the issue of executive powers and the issue of competencies, 
they can make great headway in that regard.

Certainly we would want to get that accomplished as soon as possible, but if we 
are to get it accomplished before October elections, they have to be done by 
March because of the legal provision in the Bosnian structure that requires 
that all constitutional amendments be completed six months prior to the next 
elections.  So that’s our minimum timeframe.

I was in Sarajevo in August and people were already talking about those October 
2010 elections.  So I think our room for maneuver is very short.

REP. SMITH:  Are there any demands being made of the Bosnians in the area of 
social policy?  And I point to the problems that we had with Romania and 
adoption.  At a time when we have the Hague Convention on Adoption, which 
provides a blueprint for intercountry adoption, Lady Nicholson, who was in 
charge of accession for the EU, put an onerous – and I think a totally unjust – 
demand upon Bucharest to end foreign adoptions, leaving over a thousand people 
in the pipeline, including 200 Americans.  Are there are any social policy 
impositions like that that are being put on Bosnia?

MR. JONES:  Not that I’m aware of.  Not that I’m aware of.  But Bosnia, again, 
is very early in the process. It has its SAA, it’s agreement to begin the 
process, but it’s only in the very beginning of the EU process.  And again, I 
think this is something that Björn can speak to more effectively than I can.

REP. SMITH:  Let me just ask you – what is the EU’s attitude toward the 
so-called Yellow House Case, where Serbs captured by Kosovar Albanians were 
taken to Albania as part of an alleged organ trafficking scheme?  

MR. JONES:  There have been reports for several years of alleged organ 
trafficking in association with the conflict in Kosovo during that conflict.  
We have not seen any reliable evidence that this trafficking occurred, though 
war crimes prosecutors continue to look into it, as they should.  I can’t speak 
to the issue of the most recent investigations and arrests on these bases.  But 
we’re monitoring them closely.  

Of course, it’s very divisive when you have a Serbian prosecutor looking into 
possible events inside Kosovo; there’s going to be a lot of political tension 
surrounding that.  We’re going to continue to talk to both parties about it, 
but to a great degree the Serbian judicial processes will go forward, the 
Kosovo judicial processes will go forward, and the international community will 
observe them and shine a light on them to ensure transparency and fairness.

REP. SMITH:  And finally, with regards to Kosovo with the elections coming up.  
How robust will be the participation on the part of the Serb minority?  And you 
indicated in your testimony that our U.S. embassy reps are working very closely 
with the Orthodox Church.  Has that situation improved?  Many have met over the 
years with Bishop Artemije and others who felt totally left out for years as 
churches and seminaries and the like were being burnt to the ground, literally. 
 Has that situation improved somewhat, a lot, in your opinion, or what?

MR. JONES:  I think it’s improved a lot since the time that you are describing. 
 Clearly there’s a lot of work yet to be done.  And the government of Kosovo is 
engaged through the so-called RIC, which is – they put aside $10 million for 
the reconstruction and restoration of Serbian heritage buildings and 
monasteries.  The United States is participating with our million-dollar 
contribution to UNESCO, and there are various programs working for it in a 
positive way.  Not to say that this work is – this needs continued attention on 
our part; there are still some political obstacles to overcome.  But there’s no 
ambiguity about the U.S. view, which is that these are sites that need to 
protected, and honored and should certainly be restored.  And that Serbs should 
be able to visit them and because they are an important element, as we know, of 
Serbian culture.

SEN CARDIN:  Thank you very much, and Secretary Jones, thank you for your 
testimony.  We appreciate it very much and we look forward to continuing 
working with you on these issues.  

We will now hear from Mr. Lyrvall.  I have already indicated that he is the 
director general for political affairs, the foreign ministry of Sweden.  We 
welcome you to our commission and we thank you very much for arranging your 
schedule so you could be with us today.  I need to point out, as you know, that 
your country has been extremely active in work with our commission and the OSCE 
parliamentary assembly and in the OSCE.  And Mr. Lenmarker has made an 
incredible contribution to the parliamentary assembly; we know that he will be 
returning to the United States for some meetings, and we look forward to his 
visit.  Please express our appreciation to your government for your involvement 
with our commission on so many areas of mutual interest.

BJÖRN LYRVALL:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Mr. Chairman, Mr. 
Co-chairman, members of the commission.  I’m honored to have been invited here 
to address you representing the Swedish presidency of the European Union.  I 
think that the Helsinki Commission is indeed a very dynamic and highly valued 
forum for trans-Atlantic dialogue.  And it undertakes very important work in 
relation to democracy, rule of law, human rights and security in Europe.  

So I’d like to thank you all collectively for the work that you are doing, the 
long-standing engagement and commitment in these issues, and I think these are 
vital and important for Europe as a whole.

I’d like to say also that the trans-Atlantic relationship constitutes a 
cornerstone of the EU’s external policies, and is based on shared values, such 
as democracy, human rights, as well as commitment to open and integrated 
economies.  Some would even say that the similarity in policy outlook across 
the Atlantic is the greatest in decades, and we indeed look forward to the 
upcoming EU-U.S. summit in Washington later this fall.

Now, it might be a little bit confusing for an outsider that there are such a 
number of different EU actors speaking on behalf of the European Union.  We 
have the commissioner for external affairs, we have the commissioner for 
enlargement and the Western Balkans, we have the secretary-general, the High 
Representative Javier Solana who personifies the common foreign security policy 
and then there is the rotating EU presidency which my country, Sweden, holds 
until the end of the year.

SEN. CARDIN:  It’s not confusing to us; we have 535 people speak in the United 
States Congress.  (Laughter.)  All secretaries –

MR. LYRVALL:  Well, then you know where we are and what we are dealing with.  
It’s indeed a challenging task now, to lead a union of 27 member states but 
there is indeed a great diversity between the different countries.  But at the 
same time, the fact that the number of member states have increased in recent 
years, I would say, has contributed to the strength of the EU.  We may discuss 
a lot internally, but in the end, the EU, when united, we have a powerful voice 
and a big influence in many fields:  in trade, development, foreign and 
security policy, environmental issues, consumer policy, et cetera.  

Now, we have many big issues on the plate of the Swedish presidency for the 
coming months.  The overriding priorities, as you are probably well aware, have 
to do with economic situation in the world, employment, climate.  Also, the 
issue of the EU treaty is likely to dominate the Brussels agenda after the 
Irish referendum this Friday.  

We also focus on maintaining a secure and open Europe.  We want to enhance EU’s 
role as a global actor, and enlargement is also very high on our agenda.  And 
one of the challenges of our times, of course, is the situation in the Western 
Balkans.  I think it’s fair to say that EU has come a long way since its origin 
as a post-Second World War peace initiative in the 1950s.  The EU and its 27 
member states stand as a success story in the creation of peace and prosperity 
within its borders.  

The wider challenge of extending that peace and prosperity beyond its borders 
is clearly seen in the Western Balkans.  In fact, the European Union’s common 
foreign security policy has developed largely in response to the challenges 
presented by the repercussions of the end of the Cold War and the 
disintegration of the former Yugoslavia.  In fact, it was the failure to 
respond adequately to war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s that prompted 
EU member states to enhance and reinforce the EU’s ability to conduct a 
credible and effective common foreign security policy.  And this process is 
still ongoing.

My own foreign minister, Carl Bildt, as the EU mediator at Dayton and 
subsequently the international community’s first international high 
representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, played an active role, both pre- and 
post-Dayton, to push for a sharper EU policy when involved in crisis, and also 
formulating a post-war program for conditional EU integration.  What we then 
called the regional approach, and which was the forerunner to EU’s 
stabilization and association process of today. 

In the aftermath of the Kosovo war in 1999, we saw violent crisis emerging in 
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  That was in 2001 as a result of 
unsolved ethnic and social tensions.  And the Swedish EU presidency at the 
time, in 2001, used the still-untested common foreign security policies to 
contain the crisis.  The EU troika involving High Representative Solana and 
then-Commissioner Pattern showed readiness to create the circumstances for 
negotiations, which later resulted in the Ohrid Agreement, to be implemented in 
its turn, by EU’s first European security and defense policy mission.  

Given this background, which has not always been encouraging, I have to say – 
Bosnia was certainly not EU’s finest hour.  The EU’s common foreign security 
policy has developed gradually into a more coordinated rapid and targeted set 
of instruments, both military and civilian.  The EU police monitors and regular 
combat missions, as well as advisory missions, have proved to be effective, 
although challenges still remain.

Since 1991, the EU has been the largest donor to the region, having provided 
roughly 13 billion euros in assistance, among others, for infrastructure, for 
institution building, for regional and cross border cooperation, for 
strengthening protection of minorities and enforcing human rights.  When you 
include humanitarian and the bilateral assistance of individual member states, 
please double that figure.  Until 2013, we will spend more than 900 million 
euros each year in the region.  This figure did not include the costs of ESDP 
missions which have been launched since 2003, and of which there are still 
three missions ongoing. 

Our political investments are immeasurable:  Thousands of EU personnel in the 
institutions are working in and with the region, in the headquarters in 
Brussels, in the delegations of the European Commission, in the region and in 
the three offices of the EU’s special representatives in different countries of 
the Western Balkans.  

But I’d like to say that even more importantly, the history of the European 
Union and its enlargement tells us that EU membership is a strong guarantor of 
lasting peace and social progress.  With an enormous promise and incentive to 
change that the European perspective holds for the Western Balkans, these 
countries have embarked on the same journey from war and mistrust to peace and 
reconsolidation that reunified Europe after World War II and after the Cold War.

The Western Balkans is on its way from the era of hard power to the era of soft 
power, from the era of Dayton to the era of Europe.  And I dare to say that the 
forces of disintegration is finally about to give way to the forces of 
integration.

The European perspective, with the ultimate goal of EU membership, once the 
conditions have been met by each country on its own merits, releases the EU’s 
transformative potential, where our democratic way of life and prosperity 
exercises a strong magnetic pull that provides hope and drives reform.  Despite 
a certain enlargement fatigue, there is still a strong commitment of the EU 
member states to the objective of the Western Balkans countries becoming 
members of the European Union.

And the EU enlargement of Southeastern Europe is more than a historic mission 
to finish the job of reunifying the continent; it is a matter of enlightened 
self-interest and of enhancing our own economic growth, our security and our 
freedom.  It also creates opportunities to broaden the common EU approach in 
crucial areas such as energy, security and migration.

Now, Mr. Chairman, let me turn to a few countries’ specific comments, starting 
with our most advanced partner, Croatia.  Croatia has indeed traveled the far – 
the longest road to membership of the European Union.  A remarkable transition 
towards a stable democracy, rule of law and a functioning market economy has 
taken place that should as a positive example for the Western Balkans region to 
follow.  Clearly, it is the attractive forces of European and trans-Atlantic 
cooperation structures that have underpinned this momentous societal change.

Since the start in 2005, Croatia has closed seven out of 35 negotiating 
chapters in this process towards EU membership.  Negotiations could be 
finalized by mid-2010 based on Croatia’s own merits, I need to add.  This would 
enable Croatia to join the EU as a full member by 2011 or 2012.  Regretfully, 
however, the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia has stopped Croatia 
from making formal advances in the process for almost a year now.  

On September 11, however, Prime Ministers Kosor and Pahor announced an 
agreement, in principle, on how to proceed with solving the border dispute and 
simultaneously deblocking accession negotiations.  And the Swedish presidency 
has confirmed its readiness now to support further talks on the border issue to 
be resumed on October 2.  In overcoming the heated arguments on both sides, and 
re-establishing an atmosphere of mutual trust, the leaders of the two countries 
have shown admirable statesmanship.  

The key requirement for membership of the European Union is full cooperation 
with the War Crimes Tribunal for former Yugoslavia.  Since there have been no 
positive developments in this area, the relevant negotiating chapter on 
democracy and human rights remain blocked.  Croatia needs to credibly 
demonstrate that it is making every effort to fulfill the needs of the chief 
prosecutor.  Concerted pressure from the EU and the U.S. is advisable on this 
issue.  

In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, we are encouraged by this year’s 
presidential and local elections, which, according to observers, met most 
international standards.  EU relations with the former Yugoslav Republic of 
Macedonia have intensified steadily over the past few years.  In 2004, a 
stabilization and association agreement came into force, and the year after, 
the country was officially recognized as a candidate for EU membership. End of 
this year, the EU is scheduled to lift visa obligations.

For opening accession talks, eight benchmarks must be met.  The former Yugoslav 
Republic of Macedonia must, inter alia, demonstrate proper implementation of 
judicial and police reforms, anticorruption legislation, measures to ensure a 
depoliticized civil service.  It’s also essential that the authorities foster 
and facilitate a true political dialogue between the various groups in society. 
 According to the European Commission, the former Yugoslav Republic of 
Macedonia is close to fulfilling the benchmarks and a recommendation to open 
accession talks may well be issued during the Swedish presidency. 

The countries should be rewarded for their reform efforts.  The unresolved name 
dispute with Greece should not be an impediment to initiating negotiations; 
this is a matter which must be resolved bilaterally under the auspices of the 
U.N. 

Montenegro has made impressive progress along its European integration agendas 
in its declaring independence from the union with Serbia in June 2006, 
encouraged by the EU.  Montenegro’s EU perspective has been quickly embedded in 
a series of formal agreements.  The momentum continues as Montenegro submitted 
its formal application for EU membership in December 2008, and after a decision 
by the council, a report is now being prepared by the European Commission.  
That will be the basis for deciding whether Montenegro can become formally a 
candidate country for EU membership. 

At the same time Montenegro is likely to be granted visa liberalization with 
the EU in the coming months.  EU membership will be the logical conclusion of 
this process and the timing will largely depend on Montenegro’s ability to 
carry out the necessary reforms and fulfill the criteria for EU membership.

Albania has been gradually moving toward European integration, a process that 
has received momentum in the recent years.  At the EU foreign ministers’ 
meeting in a couple of weeks’ time, we hope to reach an agreement to forward 
Albania’s membership application to the commission for its assessment.  
However, as the June 2009 elections in Albania have shown, the path to EU 
membership will not be easy.  Elections were marked by unfortunate political 
interference in the post-election process and that was noted by the 
international election observers.  Besides more efforts to meet democratic 
standards, Albania also needs to strengthen its public administration, reform 
its judiciary and more efficiently fight organized crime and corruption.

Serbia – well there is a stable, pro-EU government in place in Belgrade, which 
was elected in order to bring Serbia closer to the EU, and it shows a new 
maturity and commitment in terms of fulfilling the obligations for EU 
accession.  All EU member states agree that in order for the government to keep 
its credibility, the country must be allowed to make progress on its path 
towards the European Union.  As soon as the cooperation with ICTY is judged to 
be satisfactory, the contractual agreement for the accession process between 
Serbia and the EU will come into force.

Progress has been considerable.  This will also pave the way for a membership 
application towards the end of the year.  In the meantime, Serbia shows its EU 
commitment by unilaterally implementing the relevant agreement.  Furthermore, 
we hope to be able to grant Serbia visa freedom as of early 2010.

Then to Bosnia, which is of course, currently the main challenge.  Bosnia and 
Herzegovina has also expressed its intention to apply in the near future for a 
membership of the EU.  In fact, in a country that remains deeply divided on 
most issues, the prospect of EU integration is one of the few unifying factors. 
 There is, however, a major obstacle to this ambition:  As long as the Office 
of the High Representative remains in place, a Bosnian EU membership 
application cannot be considered. 

It is quite obvious for all of us that the OHR cannot take Bosnia to where it 
wants to go.  This is why it’s important that the country, as soon as possible, 
reaches a situation where the political landscape allows it to move from OHR to 
a reinforced EU office, strengthening, at the same time, the local political 
ownership when continuing to reform itself in accordance with EU requirements.

The Bosnian stabilization agreement has been in place since June 2008.  Part of 
that agreement includes a favorable free trade arrangement with the EU.  It’s 
called the Interim Agreement, which has seen a rather satisfactory 
implementation.  On the one hand, the progress in implementing key partnership 
priorities of the agreement has unfortunately, been rather limited.  Only then, 
and once the conditions have been met, can BiH make the transition from Dayton 
stabilization to European integration.

There is a window of opportunity to proceed with this transition before the 
2010 elections.  Otherwise, there is a considerable risk that Bosnia will be 
slipping behind the rest of the region.  In order to achieve this transition, 
we need to have a joint EU-U.S. action-oriented approach this autumn.  We are 
working closely with the U.S. to take steps in this direction.  

Let me also say that outstanding constitutional reform in Bosnia and 
Herzegovina neither is a precondition for OHR closure, nor required in order to 
apply for EU membership.  Nevertheless, it is an integral part of any efforts 
to create a functional state, and it would incrementally constitute a 
fundamental part of EU accession.  Constitutional amendments must therefore be 
brought into line with the European convention of human rights in order to end 
the ongoing discrimination between the constituent and non-constituent citizens 
of the country.

Following the decision by NATO to conclude its SFOR mission, the European Union 
has, since December 2004, been responsible for the international military 
presence in Bosnia through the operation ALTHEA, currently deploying more than 
2,000 troops in theater.  And if needed, that could be reinforced.

At some point, EUFOR must be transformed into a non-executive mission with 
focus on training of the Bosnian forces.  Any decision will be discussed 
thoroughly with the U.S.  From our perspective it is of utmost importance that 
a decision on the future of EUFOR is synchronized with the ongoing efforts to 
move forward on the political issues in the country.  For the EU police 
mission, which operates in an advisory capacity, supporting the fight against 
organized crime, is moving forward and remains a priority for us as well. 

And finally, Kosovo.  A year-and-a-half has passed since Kosovo declared its 
independence.  Countries now faced with great challenges are building a 
democratic and multiethnic state.  These challenges include decentralization, 
rule of law, economic development and engagement in regional and international 
fora.  Kosovo needs to build up long-term capacity to assume responsibility 
over the rule of law.  The EU rule of law mission in Kosovo, EULEX, can support 
this process.  EULEX is a visible expression of the European Union’s determined 
engagement for Kosovo.  During its first almost 10 months of operation, EULEX 
has deployed in all of Kosovo and begun to implement its mandate.

The American contribution is a crucial component for which the EU is most 
appreciative.  In such a complex political context there are, of course, 
difficult challenges.  In the north, EULEX is moving slowly to re-establish 
control over customs and to fully reopen the court in Mitrovica.  The police in 
northern Kosovo continue to report to EULEX.

There’s a fruitful dialogue with the authorities in Pristina on reforms 
regarding justice and police.  The EU remains committed to its long-term 
engagement in the development of Kosovo.  The fact that EU is divided about the 
status of Kosovo does not prevent a fully-engaged approach as regards Kosovo’s 
political and socioeconomic development in line with the European perspective 
of the region. 

It is clearly in the interest of the EU that Kosovo develops in accordance with 
the rest of the region.  In October, the European Commission will present a 
study examining means to further Kosovo’s political and socioeconomic 
development.  This study will hopefully provide a framework for concrete 
measures to be taken by Kosovo in order to move forward on its EU integration.

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Co-chairman, members of the commission, thank you for giving 
me, as the Swedish president of the EU, the opportunity to address you here 
today.  Thank you.

SEN. CARDIN:  Mr. Lyrvall, first of all, thank you for that very comprehensive 
report.  I think it’s very helpful to us to understand that.  We’re in total 
agreement about the importance of integration in each of the countries in the 
Western Balkans, and we certainly agree with your assessments as to what needs 
to be accomplished for that to occur.  And we also are in agreement that we 
need a joint U.S.-EU strategy as it relates to Bosnia; I think that’s our best 
chance of success.

I want to start off with Bosnia.  You’re not going to get any disagreement from 
any member of our commission about wanting the high representative office to go 
away.  I mean, that’s certainly not how a country can function.  We want to 
Bosnia to integrate into Europe; we understand you can’t integrate into Europe 
unless you have a functioning government and the high representative was meant 
to be a temporary situation.  But it seems like it’s better than any other 
option that we have to bring about constitutional reform and to stop the 
regression that is taking place in the country by the nationalists that are 
bringing about changes within their own sectors that make it more difficult for 
Bosnia to have the types of reforms necessary to be able to integrate in 
Europe, and to protect the country and its people.

So I guess I am somewhat concerned about the replacement of the high 
representative before the constitutional changes have been made in Bosnia that 
put in place the type of respect for national authority that is necessary for 
the country to be respected and eligible to enter into Europe and the EU.  

So I’m somewhat concerned about looking at a different mechanism at the point 
that would give us a chance at preventing the breakup of Bosnia.  So I 
appreciate the fact, though, that you intend for it to be a EU-U.S. strategy, 
because I think we have to be united on this, and we certainly need to listen 
to all points of view, but I tell you, if it weren’t for the high 
representative’s office I think we would be in worse shape today.  You would 
see the independent actions, particularly Republika Srpska, but also beyond 
that that would make it difficult to put the country back together again.

MR. LYRVALL:  Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Indeed the problem is, in our 
view, that the current situation is preventing Bosnia from moving ahead.  We 
are indeed as concerned as you are and I fully rally to support what my friend 
Stu Jones has said as well about the situation in Bosnia on the ground.  

There is a climate of retributions, of mutual accusations between the different 
parties, nationalistic rhetoric.  We’ve seen this reoccurring crisis of the 
kind that we are witnessing and observing today.  And you see the high 
representative trying to deal with the problem through employing his bond 
powers.  We are obviously behind and supportive of the work of the high 
representative, but in the long-term this is not a solution for Bosnia.  The 
long-term solution spells integration with the European Union because, as I 
tried to indicate in my first intervention, the only thing that potentially 
unites the different parties in Bosnia is the prospect of EU integration.  

And the train is leaving the station.  We have, this year, to deal with 
applications from Albania and Montenegro.  We have already the former Yugoslav 
Republic of Macedonia waiting for a date to start their negotiations.  We have 
Croatia well underway.  Serbia, once it resolves its outstanding issues we draw 
in relation to the ICTY, and I think that is within grasp.  They will apply as 
well, and with their very strong administrative capacity, they will probably 
catch up rather quickly.  

That would leave Bosnia and Kosovo, which is a little bit of a special case – 
I’ll come back to that, certainly, separately – would leave Bosnia alone, 
waiting for the next train, if there will be one.  Bosnia will have to come 
along, and the way to do it would be through resolving, obviously, the 
outstanding issues:  the 5-plus-2, which I think we all would wish to see fully 
implemented, and we also need to see a beginning of a constitutional reform 
that would not be seen as a new precondition for the transition, but which 
would be making Bosnia a more functional state. 

Then, the very day that you get the transition, when you get the other 
opportunities to move as far as the EU application for Bosnia, then you there 
will be a cumbersome, very long process started throughout which you would see 
the real constitutional reform efforts carried out.  Because it’s only – I 
think, in our view – that by getting Bosnia inside the EU transformatory 
process towards membership that you can actually achieve the changes of the 
constitution that you really require.  It’s not going to happen on prompt –

SEN. CARDIN:  I’ll just make another observation, and that is, I agree with you 
that the one unifying factor is the desire to integrate into Europe, but if you 
talk to particularly the young people of Bosnia, from all ethnic communities, 
all regions, they want their country to survive.  They want to talk about 
Bosnia, not about their regions, not about their ethnic identification.  And I 
think there’s stronger support in the country than their leaders are perhaps 
willing to go.

My concern is that if we were to weaken or replace the Office of the High 
Representative, it could be interpreted as a reward for the nationalists, 
making it even more challenging more Bosnia to bring about the types of reforms 
necessary to get back on track on a game plan for integration into Europe.  And 
that we just need to be careful that we send the right signals.

You’re correct in the history here; we were all late to get the attentions 
necessary in that region, and there was a heavy price paid as a result of that. 
 The office was set up for a specific reason, and I would just urge us to make 
sure that the seeds are there for development before we reward those would like 
to prevent the maturing of the nation.

MR. LYRVALL:  Yes, indeed.  I thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I think perhaps when 
discussing Bosnia I need to say one positive word about development as well, 
because it’s indeed a very different country today than it was when we arrived 
with the Office of the High Representative in December of 1995, after Dayton.  
Things have indeed progressed, and I don’t think that we fear that we would 
have a relapse into a conflict – a violent conflict – in Bosnia.  It should be 
recalled that the EU mission has never fired a shot in anger and it’s been 
there for several years.

At the same time, what we want is responsible Bosnian leadership, we want 
Bosnian ownership, and we fear that the utility of the OHR is coming to and 
end.  We need to try to move into a new gear, and that gear will have to be 
through a European integration process.  And for that to start, we need to 
achieve a certain transition of the current support structures of the 
international community in Bosnia.

SEN. CARDIN:  I’ll make one last observation.  I agree with your assessment 
about, particularly the ability for armed conflict.  But I would suggest that 
listening to the rhetoric when I was in Bosnia, I think that probably as a 
result of the great progress we’ve made in the surrounding countries that would 
not support that type of activity in Bosnia – that’s to our credit.  That’s 
part of our strategy, and you’ve given a very positive assessment in every 
other country, even though obviously Kosovo is a special class and Serbia has 
been of great interest to us – but there’s been progress made in every one of 
these countries. 

Bosnia has lost ground, and it’s a major concern to all of us.  And we think it 
cries out for leadership, and we don’t see that at the present time.  And we’re 
going to do everything we can – working with EU – to encourage that type of 
leadership that’s necessary in Bosnia so they can get back on track, because we 
strongly agree with you:  Integration is the only course that they can go, and 
it is one country, and the country needs to act as a nation.

I’m going to turn the gavel over to Mr. Smith.  I need to be on the floor, 
actually, for another Helsinki issue on the floor of the United States Senate, 
and I apologize for not listening to Mr. Smith’s questioning.  I’m sure that I 
will hear from Mr. Smith as to his concerns; he’s always very vocal.  And just 
complete it as you see fit.

REP. SMITH:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  And Mr. Director General, thank you very 
much for your testimony, for your leadership.  I noted that you were with Carl 
Bildt between ’95 and ’97 and it would be helpful for the commission to get 
your assessment as to the attitudes on the ground with regards to the key 
players.  I mean, obviously everything was law and coming out of the war in 
’95, the animosity was very, very thick.  So your thoughts on that.

Secondly, you couldn’t have said it better about the reaction of the 
international community, and that’s the late part of the Bush 
administration/early Clinton administration.  And the European Union – I 
remember Cy Vance and Lord Carrington and many other key players – and Larry 
Eagleburger – all distinguished, very smart and savvy leaders, missing one cue 
after another; one clear indication that this conflict was about to go nuclear 
– not nuclear per se but in terms of the death and the maiming of people.  

I think we all missed it and, you know, we were a day late and a dollar short.  
And frankly, in our own case, it wasn’t until Elie Wiesel said, at the 
Holocaust dedication, and he turned to President Clinton and he said, do 
something, Mr. President!  And then, I think, our engagement became much more 
robust after that.

But many of us lived it like you did – not in-country for, especially those few 
years, but made frequent trips back and forth.  And it has always concerned me 
that we kind of look at all of the new entities that emerged, from Croatia to 
Bosnia – we almost take a cookie-cutter approach.  

And I wonder if you might speak to the issue – many of those on the ground in 
Bosnia have expressed to me – and to other members of the commission – that 
when Serbia seemingly leapfrogged in the queue – and they were making the right 
moves to do so – in terms of EU ascension.  

That the aggressor – and there’s no doubt in my mind, even though, in Congress 
there was grave doubt when this all started as to who was the aggressor – 
Milosevic, clearly, and Mladich and the others were all the aggressors – that 
somehow the victimized state, the Bosnian state, is being treated with the same 
sense of equality in dealing with ascension issues where they’re left with all 
the residue – all the angst and the bile that’s spilled over from this terrible 
conflict.  So they have a much higher bar to overcome, if you will, because of 
all of that residue that was left over.

And I’m wondering if there’s any thought by the EU of looking at Bosnia as a, 
quote, “special case,” where criteria could be further streamlined – I mean, to 
me – and maybe I’m wrong, but the quicker the ascension into the EU, even if 
all of the X’s are not checked off, would have a positive and healing effect on 
a country that had been so victimized.

There are those who’ve suggested to me on trips to Bosnia, as well as their 
trips to the U.S. Capitol when their leadership would come here, that it had 
the appearance – or at least a perception – that the fast track, if you will – 
it’s probably not the right word – for Serbia was somehow linked, directly or 
indirectly, with Kosovo; that it was a way of telling Belgrade that, you know, 
your interests are being taken care of even though that’s a very bitter pill 
for you to swallow.  So whether it be direct or indirect, I don’t know, you 
know, maybe that put Serbia on a faster track than would have normally been the 
case.  You might want to speak to that, if you would.

But this idea of a special case for Bosnia – and I would agree with our 
distinguished chairman that, you know, if they’re not ready, please, the 
special rep, which you know so intimately, having served right along with the 
first one, really plays a vital role.  

We all want constitutional reform as well, but maybe a little more healing 
needs to take place.  But it would seem to me, a parallel view of moving 
towards EU ascension would help out in our special case.

MR. LYRVALL:  Thank you very much.  Well, with regard to the own historical 
experience of the Bosnia file, indeed, we did set up the Office of the High 
Representative back in ’95, and we met a country which was ravaged by war and 
people extremely tired; lots of hostility sentiments were completely different 
than they are today.  I would still have to say, despite the fact that you 
still see the tension in Bosnia.  

Now, I think if you speak to people – I’m not traveling as frequently now as I 
did before to Bosnia – I still sense that people would like Europe; they would 
like normalcy.  They would like the national rhetoric to go away.  They would 
like responsible political leadership by their own leaders, regardless if they 
are Croats, Serbs or Bosniacs.  And they expect more from them than we have 
seen so far.  They’re tired with the culture of the international community 
running business for them rather than their own leaders taking responsibility.  

So at least in our mind, there’s a time for change.  It cannot continue like it 
has for the time we have seen; it hasn’t brought Bosnia to where it wants to 
be.  And the Bosnian people where they want their country to be. 

So indeed, there’s a need for change.  We need to find and devise the 
arrangements which makes this possible; Bosnia will need to fulfill the 
criteria, as I’ve said before, and then move swiftly into a new process of EU 
integration where there is a hope that the different parties would see 
eye-to-eye and find that they have a common interest in taking their country 
forward.

I would also like to add that in case you see an application of membership from 
Serbia – for membership of the European Union – that would also close out some 
of the options that Mr. Tadic might be contemplating as far as going it alone, 
he will see that the whole region is opting for the European track.  And he has 
nowhere to go but to join that road, as well.  So this is what we are hoping 
for, and this is what we are working towards.  

I mean, you ask whether one should look for a special track for Bosnia.  I 
think it wouldn’t serve the process long term to give some kind of shortcuts.  
Because if they want to become members of the European Union, they will have to 
deliver on the different criteria there – we have very clear Copenhagen 
criteria which will have to be implemented or fulfilled.  Now, having said 
that, obviously, I don’t think that besides Kosovo, there is any country in the 
region – perhaps not even in the world – that has been receiving as much 
support and aid as Bosnia- Herzegovina from the European Union as far as annual 
financial aid, but also with personnel, with military forces, police – through 
our own EU special representative on the ground, who happens to be 
double-hatted, also as a high representative.

So I see that there will be a lot of readiness to continue to work extremely 
closely with a more responsible Bosnian leadership throughout an EU integration 
process.  And we are very grateful, I would like to say, to your commitment 
here – to the U.S. commitment and the commitment of this commission – that 
you’ve put Bosnia so firmly on the agenda because it is necessary; it’s very 
difficult and it’s an issue that sometimes gets off the radar screen.  We need 
to have it firmly placed there.  And to deal with it, it’s clearly an issue 
which needs to get more political attention; we agree with that.

But I also would like to reassure you that we are working hard together with 
our U.S. partners to see if we could use the window of opportunity in the 
run-up to the elections next year to take this next decisive step for Bosnia’s 
long-term European integration.  

You also mentioned the question of Serbia and jumping the line.  I would wish 
to say that we do not share that view.  I mean, there’s been a long way for 
Serbia to get where they are now – as far as their contractual relations with 
the European Union.  And it should also be kept in mind that they have not been 
implemented yet.  They are doing it unilaterally on the part of the Serb side 
to implement an agreement which has not yet entered into force because of the 
lack of implementation of their ICTY commitments.

Now, we think that in this regard, we will all be united in the EU and find a 
day when we’ll be able to take the next step, as far as implementation of this 
interim agreement with Serbia.  But there, I think we also agree that the Serbs 
are on a good track towards fulfilling the criteria.  Indeed, the reports from 
the chief prosecutor, Brammertz, are very positive about the Serbian 
implementation of the ICTY commitments.  So we hope that we will be able to 
move swiftly towards the next steps of Serbia’s EU integration, as well.  

One should also recall that the conditionality of the European Union is 
progressive.  It becomes more difficult the closer you get to the day when you 
will actually become an EU candidate member; with to start negotiate for full 
membership.  So we will have ample opportunity to revisit the cooperation of 
Serbia with regards to the ICTY throughout the process, as we have with the 
other applicants, as well.

I also want to say that, of course, there’s no question about the fact that 
Milosevic was running Serbia.  They were the aggressors.  Having said that, of 
course, one should also recall that the government after the overturn – handed 
Milosevic over to the Hague during 2001, and there is a new pro-European 
government in Serbia since some years back, which have had their difficulties 
but which I think, overall, are showing a good performance with regard to 
reform; with regard to cooperation with the international community.  And also 
the very sensitive issue of Kosovo, I think, has been handled – particularly 
recently – in a constructive way by Belgrade.

So we are dealing with a new team in Belgrade.  I think this is worth noting.  
We cannot victimize the whole Serbian nation for what their leaders did back in 
the ’90s.

REP. SMITH:  I appreciate that.  And let me make it very clear that my view on 
Serbia has been – even during the war because I remember we had one particular 
student leader who testified at our commission, Geruviah (ph), who was killed, 
like, on day 2 by some of Milosevic’s thugs when the bombing began, initiated 
by NATO.  

So I mean, we knew, and know – all of us, I think, on this commission – there 
were many pro-democratic and pro-human rights individuals and s/he was part of 
that youth group that was truly valiant during – we remember S-92 – when all 
the other fine individuals who didn’t want anything to do with Milosevic’s 
thuggery. 

But let me just ask you a question, if I could – just two final questions.  We 
see some headlines, at times, suggesting, in Bosnia, that there could be a 
powder keg somewhere in terms of some explosive – (inaudible).  One headline 
recently read, there will be war if it continues like this.  

And I wonder if the EU force is sufficient to deter what could be, you know, 
catastrophe number two if the right alignment of the stars are there and 
there’s enough frustration on the part of certain individuals. 

And secondly, just a brief question on the – 2 years ago in July, I was in 
Srebrenica for the reinterment of several of those who were brutally murdered 
in a genocide action.  And I was struck by both Haris Silajdzic’s statement and 
by Ceric’s statement – the grand mufti who I knew you know very well; that it 
was a call for reconciliation, for true mourning.  But the continued outreached 
hand appears to be there on both of their parts.  

But even en route to Srebrenica by car, I went by a stand that was selling 
fruits and vegetables, and there was a big picture of Mladich, you know, as if 
he is some kind of hero rather than someone who needs to be behind bars for the 
rest of his life.

And I’m just wondering – I know you understand it, given your background, but 
does the European Union have sufficient – again, making that special case 
perspective about why Bosnia needs to be looked at; they are a victimized 
nation rather than an aggressor nation.  And we want, obviously, Serbia to have 
the Konrad Adenauer view – you know, post-Germany, post-Serbia aggression – so 
that they can matriculate into a full-fledged membership with you and with us; 
where democracy and human rights are respected.  

But I’m concerned still about, you know, the victim nation still feeling the 
wounds of Srebrenica; they’re still reinterring hundreds of those who were 
brutally murdered during those fateful days in July.  Again, I make the case 
for special case – at least to keep that under consideration – but maybe your 
thoughts on Srebrenica.

And, finally, I mentioned earlier to Secretary Jones how concerned I and so 
many others – I held three hearings – three Helsinki hearings – two hearings 
and one in my subcommittee when I chaired the human rights committee on the 
Foreign Affairs Committee – on the problem of what was imposed on Bucharest 
with regards to inter-country adoption.

Now, I take – and members of this commission know – a backseat to no one on 
human trafficking.  And yet, the EU special rapporteur – I think would be the 
right turn – put such a demand on local legislation in Bucharest precluding all 
inter-country adoptions.  And still, that’s the situation, which I find 
horrific.  

Kids are still languishing in orphanages, who could be in a very happy home, 
fully checked out, you know, with proper home studies, because EU ascension and 
Lady Nicholson thought that adoption somehow equated with child abduction and 
child trafficking.  So are there any kinds of impositions being put on Balkan 
countries – on Bosnia, for example – in the social area?

MR. LYRVALL:  I will have to look into the laws question.  I’m not absolutely 
sure, to be quite frank with you.  Not to my knowledge, at least.  But I would 
be happy to do that, and perhaps I could report back to you with some more 
details on that particular issue.

On EU force, well, indeed, it’s there still with some 2,000 troops.  As said, 
there has been no shot in anger fired throughout the years of its presence 
there.  At the same time, of course, we still keep the EU force as a deterrent 
in some potential hotspot areas.  At the same time, I think it should be noted 
that defense reforms have been relatively successful, and we sense that there’s 
no real risk at the moment for another armed conflict.

However, I think the EU force is designed to be able and capable of handling 
the kind of foreseen security threats that you would have in 
Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The strength is not random; it’s based on a thorough 
assessment of the military requirements.  And if necessary, there is also going 
to be the strategic reserves available to further support the mission. 

It’s mandated by a number of Security Council resolutions.  And I think as long 
as it continues as an executive mission, this mandate will be required.  At 
some point in time, we expect EU force to be transformed into some kind of 
security sector reform mission, but frankly, as I tried to say in my first 
remarks, we will not take that step without a thorough look at the current 
state of the political process.  

Any steps, I think, will be duly discussed with the EU and others in the 
steering board before they are being taken, although, obviously, they will be 
autonomous EU decisions.  I think we have what we need for the moment, and we 
do not foresee an immediate threat.  We have to be vigilant at the same time, 
obviously.  

The big question you’re raising about the victim status of the country and the 
legacy of Srebrenica is a very difficult one to address.  And, I mean, we are 
acutely aware of this and I wanted to underline that we have no reason to be 
proud of the policies of the European Union or the international community back 
in the ’90s. 

Now, at the same time, in our view, there is a need to move on.  We will have 
to not forget but to move on; at the same time, through cooperation inside the 
country, to try to take the country forward.  And I mean, I’m coming back again 
to the full factor of the European Union in this respect.  

We are very much aware of the sentiments in parts of Bosnia, but I think that 
the best way to heal the country long term, to make it a viable country, is to 
give it the necessary support, the kind of support we have been giving so far.  
But also to strengthen this perspective for Bosnia; to make that more visible; 
more viable.

SEN. CARDIN:  Director-General, thank you so much for honoring us with your 
presence and your insights.  Let me just say that the hearing, then, is 
adjourned and I thank you again. 

(END)