by Slobodan DURMANOVIC
"Officially vague, unofficially firm": After almost three hours of negotiations in hotel "Marshal", Terzic referred to the text of the Police Reform Agreement offered by Bukejlovic, Cenic and Matijasevic. The text contains general principles for police reform that were presented at the Council of Ministers of B-H web site. The Srpska proposal does not even openly demand the survival of the Srpska police, but only a possibility that that issue be again negotiated in the period between three and five years after the signing of the agreement. Terzic's response to that "minimal" demand was as follows: "I suppose that you believe that your document could be adopted by the Srpska Parliament. I am wiling to compromise and I say - fine. I agree that we should make an agreement that could be acceptable both in Srpska and in Brussels. Therefore, if we accept this wording, vaguer than precise and clear conditions set by the EU, if we accept so to speak a form of disguise... we must clearly and precisely sign that we accept the structure agreed at the Vlasic meeting. Therefore the police will be managed by the conference of directors including the director of the State Border Service, SIPA, directors of local police districts and commissars of local police districts in cooperation with the Ministry for Security. Therefore, that is the structure agreed at the Vlasic meeting, based on the Maartens' report, which is the minimum acceptable to the European Commission will not go," claimed Terzic.
However, he did not specify who had agreed to what at the Vlasic meeting, but immediately switched to, as he revealed, tested "principle" of political agreements of "our leaders".
"I do not know whose positions have changed since Vlasic, but I know what was agreed there and I know what was supported by the European Commission, the OHR, EUPM and others. Therefore we can take the same approach as our leaders in the defense reform, we can reach and sign secret agreements that will not become public until this directorate or the working body, as you refer to it, starts working. But before I agree to issue a vaguely worded agreement that would be acceptable to the Srpska Parliament, I must have your signatures on the other agreement first. Look, I haven't talked with any of the members of the working group, but, for example, I would prefer such attitude. We'll choose wording for the agreement that would make it acceptable for the Srpska Parliament, while the actual agreement would be kept from the public and very specific. Therefore, the public agreement would be left very vague so that it is accepted by the Srpska parliament, but we would specify details of the tasks envisaged for the Directorate that would implement police reform and those details would only be made public next year, after 6,7,8, or 9 months. That's what our leaders did with the defense reform. They drew the territorial organization of the armed forces and agreed a few more details, signed that in front of the Americans and others and then told the B-H presidency - ‘let's keep that secret for now'. The official story is that the Presidency will set out the territorial organization of the armed forces next year, in June of 2006, but the truth is that the territorial organization is already known and accepted by the international community. The international community has accepted that approach realizing the need to initially push less radical reform that had a chance of being accepted by the parliaments. As far as I am concerned, we could do the same with the police reform. Officially vague, unofficially firm," Terzic literally proposed that the tried out "concept of our leaders" used in the "defense reform" be applied to the "police reform". Although he did not name names, it is obvious that Terzic was referring to the "comrades" from the B-H Presidency, the president of Srpska, Minister for Security of B-H, Minister of Foreign Affairs of B-H, and of course, himself, Adnan Terzic, a favorite of the virtual king of B-H, Paddy Ashdown. Apart from Terzic none of the above mentioned has so far boasted about the already mentioned success in the "defense reform", especially not about the way in which "our leaders" managed to mislead the public - to tell them one thing and do something totally different six months later.
Terzic did not find anything strange in all that. "I do not see anything unethical in my offer to the negotiating team from Srpska regarding the police reform. That was a fair proposal," Terzic said in his initial reaction after the publication of the transcripts, showing utter lack of concern. And why should he be concerned given that even the international guest workers apparently encourage such "democratic principles" employed by Terzic and company and even encourage them to stick to such "democratic practice" in the development of democracy in B-H.
Oh, Maartens: Here is the most recent example of such free wheeling that can be found in the part of the transcript at our disposal. At one moment Terzic obviously had enough of referring to the "Vlasic agreement", probably realizing that some of the participants of the "Vlasic summit" would easily deny his assertions by pointing out that "the guiding principle was that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and given that a final agreement had not been reached, then nothing was agreed," as was indeed done by Mladen Ivanic and Milorad Dodik a few days after the mentioned meeting.
Regardless of the above mentioned negotiating principle, Terzic abandoned his "Vlasic agreement" arguments and switched to a somewhat different argumentation in his attempts to convince the three-member negotiating team from Srpska: "It's not that your proposal is not good. The problem is that it differs somewhat from Maartens' proposal." Then Terzic quotes the first paragraph of the official Srpska proposal: "You say that B-H will have a functional, efficient, economical structure of police forces that will be free of political influence. I agree that that is something that B-H needs, but only under the condition that the proposed structure truly fulfills such conditions. For example, is the proposed structure functional, efficient and without political influence, because ministries have no influence on daily police operations; we have a conference of directors; we have standards proposed by Maartens and accepted by... Look, Maartens' report was not only accepted by the majority in the Commission, but also the European Commission and the Peace Implementation Council (PIC). So that it is not any more simply Maartens' report... That is the report backed by the PIC, greatest European and world powers and the European Commission. That report guaranties everything that you have put in here, ‘functional, efficient, economical structure of police forces that will be free of political influence'. If we are prepared to say that ‘the first paragraph remains as is in order to be acceptable for the Srpska Parliament' while under the table we put signatures on Maartens' report, that's fine by me," Terzic repeated his "indecent proposal" apparently acting as the spokesperson for the PIC and the European Council.
In other words, he was given to know, while others in B-H were not. Or is it that Brussels does not want to tell us that in the meantime Maartens' report has become "the holy bible" for European integration?! In all that Terzic is deliberately ignoring the fact that none of the objections and suggestions of members of the Maartens' Commission from Srpska were accepted and included in the report so that neither the commission members from Srpska, nor Dragan Mikerevic's government, nor any Serb politician in Srpska has accepted the report. Not even an extremely flexible proposal by Bukejlovic, Cenic and Matijasevic, which took 80 percent of the content of Maartens' report was acceptable. Terzic's message to politicians from Srpska is actually - sign Maartens' Report and then we'll talk about whether we'll make it public now or later. And once we tell the voters from Srpska about the agreement they will not pay attention to the (non)existence of Srpska in their daily struggle for a piece of bread. Naturally, all of this is done for the paupers so that they could one day live like rich Europeans. Unlike our "poor" rulers, who live and work in B-H with western salaries - what a huge sacrifice indeed!
S. CENIC: They have already signed that?
A. TERZIC: We did not plan to sign.
S. CENIC: In that case, I propose, given that I had no consultations, to take these documents from the Vlasic meeting and to call a meeting of the political leaders from Srpska, so that they can sign the agreement, while we would present your proposal to them. Once they sign, we'll come back.
A. TERZIC: What agreement, what proposal, sorry, I don't understand!
S. CANIC: I am talking about principles agreed at the Vlasic meeting. We'll present all the documentation as a report to the members of the parliament and ask them to approve what the government is doing.
A. TERZIC: Listen, that is a tactical matter. As far as I am concerned if that is the way for you to come back to the negotiating table with more arguments and to continue work it's not a problem to check to what extent politicians in Srpska support or do not support this mode of organization of police and police management. But what if they reject the agreement?
S. CENIC: I'd like to hear your reaction. We were not at the Vlasic meeting, at least the two of us, Matijasevic was there. We were not at that meeting but you keep telling us that an agreement was reached there. But, what if they disagree with what you say, what if they say that no agreement was reached at the Vlasic meeting? Therefore, we need to check if we actually have the mandate to accept your proposal.
A. TERZIC: Let me tell you, minister Cenic, you believe that your proposal is acceptable for the Srpska parliament, but that is not enough. That is not sufficiently specific; this is not a sufficiently clear proof of the acceptance of three standards imposed by the EU. I understand your situation, you have the need for vague terminology, but you have to understand my situation too. I do not know to what extent people in this country understand but we definitely need these negotiations and a lot of money is involved providing solutions for economic and infrastructure problems in B-H and so on. I and we need negotiations. And it is not enough to make an agreement that would be acceptable for the Parliament of Srpska - we need an agreement that would both be acceptable for the Parliament of Srpska and for Brussels. Your proposal is so vague regarding three European principles. Let me repeat, if everyone else agrees I do not have a problem with the dual track, a vague official agreement and a different, detailed secret version with all the necessary signatures...
S. CENIC: I have a question. Since here it is explicitly said in clause 3 (the draft agreement proposed by A. Terzic - author's remark) "that implies regions Tuzla-Bijeljina, Gorazde-Foca, and Sarajevo", does that come from Vlasic or from Maartens?A. TERZIC: Neither...
S. CENIC: Well?
A. TERZIC: Look, that is a response to the demand of the European Commission to form functional regions. After all, Maartens' report says the same. Maartens' map 9+1 implies the same. True, Maartens' map implies even more but, here, we say that at lest at these three spots inter-entity border must be crossed. Why? Because it is impossible to create a functional region while sticking to the inter-entity border in these regions. Impossible!