European Western Balkans

Resolution on the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement

The European Parliament

– having regard to the Dayton peace Agreement, the general framework and its twelve Annexes

– having regard to its resolutions of 7 July 2005,  of 15 January 2009 and of 9 July 2015 on Srebrenica;

– having regard to the 11 March 2005 Venice Commission Opinion on the constitutional reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

– having regard to Rule 123 (2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

  1. whereas the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed on 14 December 1995 in Paris and put an end to the bloodiest war in Europe since the Second World War;
  2. whereas the Agreement stopped the war but failed to create a functioning and self-sustainable state and whereas the institutional set-up of the country is overly complex and has proved to be ineffective;
  3. Recalls the importance of signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, remembers all of the tragic victims of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and expresses its sincere condolences to families of those who lost their lives;
  4. Notes with regret that 20 years after the end of the war and setting up a General Framework Agreement outlining the main aspects of Peace Settlement and future shape of the country, successive governments failed to build a fully functioning and self-sustainable state;
  5. Welcomes the results achieved with the return of refugees and IDPs, as well as reconstruction and property restitution, in line with the provisions of annex VII of the Dayton Agreement; insists on the need for full implementation of the annex and related strategy in order to ensure sustainable return, as well as fair, comprehensive and durable solutions for internally displaced people, refugees and other conflict-affected persons; stresses the need to make progress in improving the socio-economic integration of those who have returned calls for better coordination of efforts at all levels and more attention to the most vulnerable displaced people, including Roma and women victims of violence; highlights the need for local integration for those who were unable to return to their areas of origin; notes with regret that, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, there are still about 7000 missing people whose fate remains unknown;
  6. Acknowledges the positive transformation that BiH has undergone in the past 20 years, from a war-torn country, emerging from conflict, to a state aspiring for membership of the European Union;
  7. Reiterates the EU’s commitment to the European perspective and further accession process of BiH and all Western Balkan countries; believes that regional cooperation and the European integration process are the best way to promote reconciliation and to overcome hatred and divisions;
  8. Calls on the authorities to use the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement as an incentive to move forward with the necessary reforms, especially in view of the pending EU membership application from Bosnia and Herzegovina; reminds that addressing the socio-economic needs of citizens must be the priority, as well as the establishment of an effective coordination mechanism on EU matters; reiterates that it also crucial, to continue, in parallel, with political reforms and democratization of the political system that will lead in the direction of ensuring true equality and democratic representation of all three constituent peoples and all its citizens; underlines that all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina must have equal opportunities to be elected to all levels of political decision-making;
  9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its entities, and the governments and parliaments of the countries of the western Balkans.

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