Monday, November 06, 2006

Lecture at Bosnian Embassy

I attended a lecture last Thursday--November 2, 2006--at the Bosnian Embassy at 2109 E Street NW in Washington, D.C. Igor Davidovic and Osman Topcagic spoke on Bosnian Integration into the European Union. I was a little late, and I didn't take notes, so I apologize that I cannot provide a better report of what was said. But the lecture was well-attended, and two former US ambassadors were present, as well as representatives from Slovenia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria; and possibly others as well.

The mood was positive; both Davidovic and Topcagic are optimistic about Bosnia's ability to comply with EU requirements and qualify for EU membership. They understand that Bosnia must move forward with the process.

Someone asked a question about police reform. The answer, briefly, was that while that is an issue which must be dealt with, it is not currently a deal-breaker; the process can continue to move on while necessary reforms are worked out.

I wish I had been able to attend the entire lecture; I also wish I had been able to record the proceedings. Obviously, the lecture was for public consumption and accentuated the positive; still, I did not get the impression that the two men were wearing rose-colored glasses. One point that was made--entry to the EU is not a zero-sum game; the more Balkan nations that get in, the better. Serbia was mentioned--specifically, the dely in negotiations stemming from the failure to arrest Karadzic and Mladic. Both men agreed that Serbia needs to get in as well.

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