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Petitioning The friends of Bosnia-Herzegovina

Let us be a million— plus you! — Europeans who make their voices heard by signing this appeal for a Europe that is in solidarity with its Bosnian fellow citizens.


Here, 20 years ago, the bombs rained down.
Here, 20 years ago, snipers fired from the hills on passers by.
Here, 20 years ago, an ethnic cleansing unlike anything seen since the Second World War ravaged all of Bosnia.
And here, 20 years ago, an army of free citizens, faithful to the proudest anti-fascist traditions of Europe, fought barbarism and ultimately triumphed.


During that time, Europe stood idly by.
Deaf to the appeals of its brothers in Sarajevo, Mostar, and Srebrenica, Europe, almost to the end, refused to employ its might.
Turning its back on its own past struggles for democracy and freedom, Europe acquiesced, with a cynicism equaled only by its Munich-like complacency, to the slaughter of innocents.
And when finally it did intervene it was to impose, through the Dayton Accords, an iniquitous agreement that bought peace at the cost of partition and put in place an institutional mechanism that paralyzes and impoverishes the country while preventing the reconciliation of hearts and minds from Sarajevo to Banja Luka to Mostar.


This situation cannot continue


This political, moral, and historic mistake must be repaired.
The debt that Europe owes to a country that has shown its unwavering fidelity to the values of democracy, cosmopolitanism, and multicultural tolerance—the values of Europe itself—must be discharged.
And there is but one way for Europe to do that: to recognize that by its suffering no less than by its history, by its long tradition of openness to others no less than by its heroic resistance to the savage nationalism that almost destroyed it, this little country is fully, indisputably, and irreversibly part of the great family of friends of democracy and law that is the European family.


It is for that reason that the friends of Bosnia-Herzegovina hereby launch, in Sarajevo, on this hundredth anniversary of the unleashing of a cataclysm in which Europe tore itself apart and sank into darkness, an appeal to all Europeans of good will to support the prompt admission of the country of Ivo Andric to full membership in the European Union.
The friends of Bosnia-Herzegovina reject the argument of those who, mistaking effect for cause, cite this or that constitutional provision imposed by the Dayton Accords as an excuse to defer the commencement of preliminary talks.
They protest the absurd and Kafkaesque logic that keeps, for so many years, this country, where beats, often more than anywhere else, the heart of Europe, away from the European political space.


And they therefore launch this petition which—by proposing in part that the infamous “preconditions” invoked by Brussels should be made part of the admission process rather than blocking it and that those preconditions should not precede the process but rather become its first order of business—advocates for the immediate and unconditional opening of negotiatations.


How many deaths had to occur before France and Germany reconciled?
How many more years will Bosnia-Herzegovina have to wait because Europe refuses to face its guilty conscience?


Let us put that guilty conscience behind us


Let us pay our debt to Bosnia-Herzegovina by finally opening to it the doors of Europe.




Let us be a million— plus you! — Europeans who make their voices heard by signing this appeal for a Europe that is in solidarity with its Bosnian fellow citizens.



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  • The friends of Bosnia-Herzegovina

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