Principal Deputy High Representative and Brčko Supervisor Michael Scanlan reiterates that Brčko District, which is comprised of citizens of both the FBiH and the RS, is a successful example of post-war reconciliation and peaceful coexistence that the entities, per the Final Award, are obligated to support. There will be no new war in the District, but the question remains: will there be prosperity?
The District authorities need to complete the recently initiated reforms and take firm steps to combat corruption and patronage if Brčko is to fulfill its potential, achieve a prosperous future, and ultimately satisfy the conditions for full implementation of the Brčko Tribunal Final Award.
The District’s unique administrative status enables it to accelerate reforms and deliver tangible benefits to the community. This was not the case the past decade, and despite recent progress, including adopting on time this year the budget, concrete results need to be produced faster.
The Supervisor also reminds all political parties that the duty of every public servant, including department heads, is to work for the people of Brčko – not for political parties. As for the parties, they will be judged Election Day based on the quality-of-life improvements in the District, not their rhetoric.
It is also time for political parties to stop characterizing projects as being tailored to one ethnic group or another, otherwise there will be no international financial assistance for key infrastructure projects. The community will either succeed together or fail together. The people of the District understand this and so must political parties. If there is no infrastructure development, no merit based civil service hiring practices, no implementation of anti-corruption measures – there will be no business investors and no new jobs.
Brčko’s youth of all ethnicities are still emigrating; the authorities and public servants have yet to demonstrate that change is really coming to Brčko District.
At the same time, it is the obligation of all citizens, local media and NGOs to demand the rule of law from their officials, service from their public administration, and transparency from their budget, for Brčko District is their community, and prosperity is their right, but it requires the work of everyone.