The priority must be civic rights
by Sarajevo Conference
Bosnia-Herzegovina’s advance must be based on promoting a civic concept of society, and guaranteeing the rights of the citizens as individuals rather than as members of some ethnic group. This was the conclusion of the conference Bosnia-Herzegovina Facing the Challenge of a European Future and a New Political System, organised by the Serb Civic Council, the Council of Bosniak Intellectuals, the Croat National Council, and the ‘Circle 99' Association of Independent Intellectuals, which took place in Sarajevo on 18 November 2005. All the participants in the conference agreed that, ten years after the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the only way forward for B-H lies in its transformation into a modern, European and multi-ethnic state. According to Mirko Pejanović, president of the Serb Civic Council: ‘rather than furthering political pluralism the Agreement has cemented ethnic pluralism, which promotes ethnic divisions artificially created during the war.’ Luka Markešić, president of the Croat National Council, emphasized the importance of return of refugees and displaced people, as guaranteed by Annex 7 of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Omer Ibrahimagić, professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo, argued that Bosnia-Herzegovina’s integration into the EU and NATO are of ‘historic importance’.
Nezavisne novine, 19 November 2005