EU Representative in Bosnia Meets RECOM Advocates

Head of the EU delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina Peter Sorensen says that he hopes the RECOM initiative will help reconciliation in the Balkans.Following the meeting with the advocates of the Coalition for Reconciliation Commission, RECOM, Sorensen said that he commends all civil society organizations that pursue reconciliation in the region.

RECOM is a regional network of NGOs that wants to establish a regional commission to promote reconciliation following the 1991-2001 conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The commission would produce a report that presents a definitive list of the killed and missing during the wars, along with a list of camps and other places of detention.“The EU hopes this initiative will indeed foster reconciliation and good neighbourly relations in the region. It was an informative meeting where I had a chance to hear about RECOM’s activities and extensive consultations carried out with civil society and legal practitioners in the past months,” said Sorensen.

Dzenana Karup-Drusko, a Bosnian journalist and RECOM advocate who was present at the meeting, told BIRN that the initiative has had the support of the European Commission and Parliament from the very beginning, a fact which Sorensen highlighted during the meeting.

“Sorensen assured us that this will also be true in the future. The meeting was arranged so that we could tell him about what had been achieved in Bosnia and the region and our next steps. The support of the international community is important for us and has never wavered, thanks to the support of the High representative Valentin Inzko and the American ambassador Patrick Moon”, said Karup-Drusko.

She claims that RECOM advocates will try to get the support of Bosnian politicians over the coming months, the support of whom will be vital if RECOM is to be formed.

“In May this year Croatian president Ivo Josipovic launched an initiative to create a regional expert group to find out if a RECOM commission is in accordance with the constitutions of the countries in the region and it’s vital that Bosnia takes part in this. We will have several meetings with Bosnian politicians in the upcoming period to make sure this happens”, says Karup-Drusko.

Similar meeting was held at the end of June in Belgrade where RECOM advocates met the Ambassador of the EU Delegation, Vincent Degert, as well as ambassadors of the EU member states in Serbia. RECOM representatives asked for the EU assistance in communicating with the local politicians, whose current interest for the initiative is very low.

The RECOM initiative has been previously supported by the European Parliament, who underlined its importance in its latest resolution on Serbia from March 29, noting that RECOM initiates and directs the reconciliation process in the region.

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