Circle 99 – Krug 99 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 September 2023 – 38
The aspirations through hundreds of years of the majority Bosnian nation, i.e. the citizens of Bosnia, aspiring to join modern Europe, enlightened by intelligent and progressive political discussions through the 20th and 21st centuries, have been finally recognized by the highest authority in Europe in response to Slaven Kovacevic, a member of Circle 99 {“Krug 99”).  The path is now clear, and there should be no digressions.  A prosperous Bosnia in a modern Europe with a contemporary political system, civil rights, freedoms and a powerful civilization.
  The upcoming obstacles, difficulties and struggles are nothing compared with hundreds of years of suffering, migration, displacement, expulsion and persecution, with the warfare and devastation, the humiliations and the constant ethnic discrimination, all because of people wanting to remain on their native land with their national identity.  The historic necessity of modern civilization will win out over the hegemonic and expansionist networks surrounding the Bosnian state, calling it a “special case” in the world, calling it a state with limited sovereignty and basic liberties of every national political community of its citizens.  Neither [Croatian Prime Minister Andreja] Plenkovic nor [Croatian President Zoran] Milanovic, nor [Serbian President Aleksandar] Vucic nor [Serbian Foreign Minsiter Ivica] Dacic can stop this historically fettered state from developing into a prosperous Bosnian state of free people.   A majority of the population has over time enhanced its political consciousness about liberal democratic values and has come to understand the destructive consequences of ethno-nationalism of the past and possibly of the future.  This was brought about by the growth of civic self-confidence in the face of challenges and by enhanced dedication to a final destination:  a modern Bosnian state.  Political weakness and compromising would only have led to a historic defeat of a long series of actors in the struggle for Bosnian dignity and prosperity.
  The importance of this Decision by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is colossal, thanks to the political and educational acumen, thanks to the persistence and courage, of Slaven Kovacevic on behalf of and in the interests of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Finally, a new launching point has been demarcated.  It leads away from the conflicts of ethnocracy, division and close-mindedness, away from the destructive concept of so-called “legitimate ethnic representation,” away from the totalitarian concept of so-called” constituent “sovereign ethnic groups” that stands in opposition to the state and in opposition to the principle carriers of sovereignty, the owners and primordial carriers of political will and the inalienable political rights of every individual as a citizen.  The reaffirmation of the active voting rights of every person and of a unified voting unit for elections to the highest state institutions will triumph over the current system of a triumvirate of closed authoritarian groups, the creatures of ethno-nationalism, mythology and deceit, of historical revisionism, suspicion and the targeted manufacturing of ethnic conflicts.
  Implementation of the Decision by the European Court of Human Rights will create conditions for the real opening of the EU integration process, as well as the realistic and genuine politics of reconciliation, the restoring of trust, the inclusiveness of society and social cohesion.  A system built on the Decision of the European Court of Human Rights will have economic benefits through the genuine integration of markets and equal market positions and potential of commercial subjects all over the country.  Corruption, nepotism and discrimination, as integral parts of the current ethnocratic system, will now be displaced.
  Resistance to implementation of the Decision by the European Court of Human Rights is most pronounced among the ethnocratic elites and their acolytes, who are evincing obvious fear, panic and ignorant dismissing of the Decision’s importance, which is not only the result of the absence of valid arguments but also the collapsing of nationalist aspirations and positions achieved through the system of discrimination, unequal voting standards and personal benefit.  The best indicator of this is the employment of the traditional method of the ‘ad hominem’ argument, i.e. “against the person.”  This is used when there are no rational reasons and facts, so the only thing left is the demonization of someone and the disgraceful defaming of the person who made the appeal to the European Court.
  But the lack of real argumentation by some international actors can also not be concealed, where the implementation of the Decision is not even mentioned or is said to be the subject of future negotiations and compromises.  If they did this in their own countries, this would be a declaration of war against their own administration that would be defending the principle of justice and court decisions.  In fact, these stances reveal a shirking of responsibility by the purveyors of the Dayton peace agreement, which should mean the transformation of an unnatural and undemocratic system in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This system was established through genocide and the “joint criminal enterprises.”  Instead, there should be a civic governance and peace in this part of the world.  Threatening statements by the signers of the agreement – the parties participating in the war against Bosnia and Herzegovina (i.e., Serbia, Croatia and their political allies in Bosnia) conjure up the possibility of renewed warfare because of the values outlined in the Decision by the European Court on Human Rights.  This is just an additional reason for international solidarity and unity needed in the struggle for a modern European Bosnian civic state.
  Marking thirty years of continuous work for the values affirmed in the Decision by the European Court of Human Rights, Circle 99 is honored to say that the author of this appeal is none other than Dr. Slaven Kovacevic, an active member of Circle 99 since the early days of the war.  Ever-increasing public support for this initiative confirms the vibrant democratic potential of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This alone should counter constant international hectoring about a lack of domestic civic voices, movements and activities.
  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.