Page last updated at 00:22 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 01:22 UK

Police law moves Bosnia toward EU

Bosnian police outside Sarajevo Canton building - 13/02/2008
Bosnia maintains separate Serb and Muslim-Croat police forces

The parliament of Bosnia-Hercegovina has approved police reforms demanded by the European Union as a condition for continuing the steps toward membership.

The lower house of parliament approved long-disputed reforms to more closely integrate the country's two separate police forces.

Bosnia's Muslim-Croat and Serb areas have their own police forces as well as governments and parliaments.

The country has been split since the devastating war of 1992-95.

Compromise plan

The two police reform bills were passed by 22 votes to 19 with one abstention.

The deputies had dismissed three previous proposals resulting from four years of debate about how to more closely integrate the two police forces.

The original plan was to merge the two forces but no agreement could be reached on this.

A compromise was finally brokered by the highest international envoy to Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak, and passed in a late-Thursday session.

"I want to congratulate all those who made a compromise in the interest of citizens and the state," Prime Minister Nikola Spiric said.

"Better days are ahead of us and also a lot of work related to the SAA signature".

The passage of the bills now means that the EU can sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Bosnia - a significant step towards membership.

Bosnian PM resigns over reforms
01 Nov 07 |  Europe
Bosnia power transfer postponed
27 Feb 07 |  Europe
Country profile: Bosnia-Hercegovina
21 Nov 07 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific