|High Representative for|
Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Inaugural holder||Carl Bildt|
14 December 1995
|Formation||Dayton Peace Agreement|
14 December 1995
|Salary||EUR 24.000 monthly|
politics and government of
Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Bosnia and Herzegovina portal|
The High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, were created in 1995 immediately after the signing of the Dayton Agreement which ended the 1992-95 Bosnian War. The purpose of the High Representative and the OHR is to oversee the civilian implementation of the Dayton agreement. They also serve to represent the countries involved in the implementation of the Dayton Agreement through the Peace Implementation Council (PIC).
So far, all of the High Representatives named have been from European Union countries, while their principal deputies have been from the United States. The Principal Deputy High Representative serves as International Supervisor for Br?ko, representing the international community in the Br?ko District.
The Dayton Agreement created the legal basis for the OHR. Its Annex 10 provides for the institution of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina to oversee the civilian implementation of the agreement, representing the countries involved in the Dayton Accords through the Peace Implementation Council.
At its December 1997 meeting in Bonn, the Peace Implementation Council agreed in granting further substantial powers to the OHR, in order to avoid the implementation of the Dayton Agreement being delayed or obstructed by local nationalist politicians. The OHR was requested to:
The Bonn powers were extensively used by the OHR in the following decade. Some examples include the adoption of the Defence reform in April 2003, with the suppression of the Supreme Defence Council of the Republika Srpska, and the amendment of Entity Constitutional Laws.
Until 2004, the OHR had dismissed a total of 139 officials, including judges, ministers, civil servants and members of parliaments, sometimes along with freezing their bank accounts. After the 2002 elections, the OHR scrutinised all political candidates for major ministerial positions at Entity and State level.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which Bosnia and Herzegovina had joined in 2002, has voiced complaints against the actions of the OHR, requiring it to transfer his powers to the Bosnian authorities as soon as possible.
The OHR's prolonged interference in the politics of Bosnia and Herzegovina is also considered to be one of the causes of the low commitment of citizens towards the state (shown by low voter turnout) and of low accountability of politicians (whose actions are finally subject to external review).
Under Christian Schwarz-Schilling, the OHR seemed to soften its invasiveness, thanks to pressures from the Council of Europe and a growing EU involvement. The number of OHR legislative initiatives and of dismissed officials lowered.
On 27 February 2008, the PIC decided to end the High Representative's mandate on 30 June 2008. The EU decision to shut down the OHR by June 2007 unexpectedly aroused disappointment and concern in the Bosnian population, NGOs, and politicians. However, since the PIC February 2008 review, it was decided to extend that mandate indefinitely until a set of positive benchmarks have been fulfilled.
The "double hatting" between EUSR and OHR was discontinued in 2011, when the EU representative post was fused between the EUSR and the head of the EU delegation.
In February 2008 the Peace Implementation Council set the conditions for closure of the OHR. The most critical issues will be considered objectives to be achieved by the BiH authorities before transition from OHR to a European Union presence can take place. From a long list of known priorities the PIC selected the key ones for transition, for closure of OHR:
In addition to these objectives there are also two conditions:
|#||Officeholder||Lifespan||Term of office||Country|
|1||Carl Bildt||(born 1949)||14 December 1995||17 June 1997||Sweden|
|2||Carlos Westendorp||(born 1937)||18 June 1997||17 August 1999||Spain|
|3||Wolfgang Petritsch||(born 1947)||18 August 1999||26 May 2002||Austria|
|4||Paddy Ashdown||(1941-2018)||27 May 2002||31 January 2006||United Kingdom|
|5||Christian Schwarz-Schilling||(born 1930)||1 February 2006||30 June 2007||Germany|
|6||Miroslav Laj?ák||(born 1963)||1 July 2007||28 February 2009||Slovakia|
|7||Valentin Inzko||(born 1949)||1 March 2009||Incumbent||Austria|