|Krug 99 (Circle 99) 4 October 2022 – 19|
ANNOUNCEMENT OF CIRCLE 99 (KRUG 99) CONCERNING DISCUSSION WITH HIGH REPRESENTATIVE CHRISTIAN SCHMIDT
Last week there was a lengthy substantive discussion between High Representative Christian Schmidt and a delegation of Krug 99 (Circle 99). On this occasion, there were expressions of the high level of understanding and mutual respect for the various viewpoints exchanged, including on open issues that will require further dialogue in order to be rationally and more precisely considered for the benefit of the democratic development of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The High Representative thanked Krug 99 for its ideas about improving the functionality of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The High Representative emphasized that, following the decision imposed on October 2, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina will no longer be held hostage to any political party or elected official. High Representative Schmidt stressed that he expects everyone involved to work together in a constructive manner.
The well-known viewpoints of Krug 99 concerning the further democratic reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina in harmony with the values of liberal democracy were received with full attention. This included the stance about creating greater space to opportunities for the strengthening and further development of a civic society and democratic state in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Krug 99 believes that genuine possibilities and solutions need to be identified within the context of the Dayton Agreement for moving toward a civic approach. It is especially important to overcome ethnic diversities as the dominant criterion for decision-making, for organizing general relations and for determining an individual’s position in society.
Krug 99 contends that a third entity cannot succeed because it would be a sign of the collapse of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Advocacy for some sort of “Dayton 2” or for intermediation among tripartite Balkan actors toward Bosnia are not constructive in the current geopolitical circumstances. Rather, the emphasis should be on affirmation of civic activism and its influence on institutions, the constitutional capacity of which encompasses the responsibility and capability of genuine changes in the direction of constitutional solutions and Euro-Atlantic integration. Krug 99 pointed out the significance of the findings of the European Court of Human Rights, especially in the case of Azra Zornic v. Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as her remarks to the Committee of Ministers at the European Council, which is responsible for the implementation of the findings of the European Court of Human Rights, as a resolution of last legal resort. Krug 99 is convinced that this is the path to a civic democratic Bosnia and Herzegovina and that this fulfills one of the 14 priorities of the European Union [enunciated by the EU as preconditions for eventual membership].
The discussants agreed that both domestic and international actors bear responsibility for tolerating the practice of “two schools under one roof.” They emphasized their confidence in young people when it comes to the renewal of the values of liberal democracy and to the affirmation of trust and reconciliation. People’s confidence in security during current regional and global challenges must be returned. There should be a full implementation of [former High Representative] Inzko’s Amendment to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning the denial of genocide in the absence of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopting this in its own capacity. The authorities of the High Representative in harmony with Annex 10 of the Dayton Peace Agreement are not in dispute, especially when it comes to application of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Krug 99 believes that upcoming reforms of the Electoral Law should not enhance further ethnic divisions but rather should strengthen the equality of all citizens and their active and passive electoral rights.
[The delegation of Krug 99 was comprised of Adil Kulenovic as President of Krug 99 together with Krug 99 members Lada Sadikovic, Martin Tais, Hazim Basic, Bojan Sosic and Azra Zornic.]
Adil Kulenović, President
|Association of Independent Intellectuals – Circle 99 (Bosnian: Krug 99), a leading Bosnian think-tank, was established in Sarajevo in 1993, in the midst of the Bosnian war (1992-1995), while the capital was under siege. Circle 99 provides a platform to bring together intellectuals of various professional and ethnic identities; university professors, members of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, artists, journalists, entrepreneurs, diplomats, and other prominent figures from Bosnia and from abroad. Multidisciplinary discussions and initiatives are held each Sunday throughout the academic year, in the form of regular sessions about politics, science, education, culture, economy, and other societal issues. The overall goal is to sensitize the public towards a democratic transformation, achieving and maintaining peace, and integration of modern Bosnia into the community of countries fostering liberal democracy. Circle 99 has been declared an organization of special significance for the city of Sarajevo.|