DECISION OF THE HIGH REPRESENTATIVE
In the exercise of the powers vested in the High Representative by Article V of Annex 10 (Agreement on Civilian Implementation of the Peace Settlement) to the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to which the High Representative is the final authority in theatre regarding interpretation of the said Agreement on the Civilian Implementation of the Peace Settlement; and considering in particular Article II.1.(d) of the last said Agreement, according to the terms of which the High Representative shall “Facilitate, as the High Representative judges necessary, the resolution of any difficulties arising in connection with civilian implementation”;
Recalling paragraph XI.2 of the Conclusions of the Peace Implementation Conference held in Bonn on 9 and 10 December 1997, in which the Peace Implementation Council welcomed the High Representative’s intention to use his final authority in theatre regarding interpretation of the Agreement on the Civilian Implementation of the Peace Settlement in order to facilitate the resolution of any difficulties as aforesaid “by making binding decisions, as he judges necessary” on certain issues including (under sub-paragraph (c) thereof) “measures to ensure implementation of the Peace Agreement throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and its Entities”;
Noting that because there existed a need for a comprehensive regulatory regime for the broadcasting industry the High Representative, on 11 June 1998, issued a Decision establishing the Independent Media Commission;
Further noting that due to the Parliamentary Assembly’s failure to adopt the Telecommunications Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina as submitted by the Council of Ministers, the High Representative, on 11 September 1998, issued a Decision enacting the Telecommunications Law, Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina 10/99;
Bearing in mind the exhortations of the Peace Implementation Council in its Communiqué of 7 December 2000 acknowledging the High Representative’s intention to reinforce a comprehensive approach to communications by combining the competencies of the Independent Media Commission and the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency;
Recalling the Peace Implementation Council’s exhortations of 23/24 May 2000, directing the High Representative to ensure rapid development of State-level regulatory mechanisms for telecommunications and media and to ensure that there were no duplicative or conflicting regulatory competencies at any level of government, and drawing the parties’ attention to the need to foster functional and democratically accountable common institutions;
Further Recalling that, on 2 March 2001, the High Representative issued a Decision, Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina 8/01, Official Gazette of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina 11/01, and Official Gazette of Republika Srpska 12/01, Combining the Competencies of the Independent Media Commission and the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency, thereby creating the Communications Regulatory Agency;
Noting that the combination of the power and function of the Enforcement Panel and the Director General is necessary after a transitional time in order to allow the Agency to fulfil its responsibilities in a future fully liberalised environment;
Recognising that telecommunications plays a major role in the economic development of nations and that opening the telecommunications field to competition offers economic benefits to consumers and the business sector alike;
Observing that the Peace Implementation Council in its Communiqué of 1 February 2001 noted that the “momentum of economic reform needs to be strengthened” because “private investment is a key prerequisite to stop a deepening of the economic and social crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina”;
Noting that economic development is a key strategic goal of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and fostering a competitive environment for telecommunications is an integral part of that process;
Observing that the Peace Implementation Council, in its Communiqué of 13 September 2001, called upon the local authorities to take “the required decisive and concrete steps toward the structural economic reforms so desperately needed to attract foreign investment”;
Observing that the Peace Implementation Council, in its Communiqué of 30-31 July 2002, welcomed the commitment to create a climate conducive to private enterprise and delivering high-quality affordable public services, thereby recognising that a competitive telecommunications environment is best fostered by an effective and efficient regulatory environment underpinned by a comprehensive and clear legal foundation that gives to the market the requisite legal certainties necessary for investment and growth;
Recalling that a draft Communications Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been awaiting action by the Council of Ministers for the last eighteen (18) months;
Further noting that in the Agenda For Reform Agreed Between the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Community dated July 2002, the authorities pledged to “pass and implement the Communications Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a key component toward full liberalisation and market competition of the telecom industry”;
Observing that the Communications Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is a prerequisite for foreign investment and a necessary element for a fully functioning and empowered regulator, has yet to be adopted;
Recalling that the implementation of this Law and its objectives require a politically independent Communications Regulatory Agency that relies on the exceptional expertise and competence of the members of the Council of the Agency and the Director General, it is therefore necessary to ensure that the members of the Council of the Agency and the Director General are exclusively appointed on considerations based on their integrity, knowledge and professional merit.
Having considered and borne in mind the totality of the matters aforesaid, I hereby issue the following:
1) Regulating various matters of a transitional nature arising out of previous Decisions of the High Representative as aforesaid; and
2) Enacting the Law on Communications of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 (a) All acts, codes, rules, guidelines and decisions made by the Independent Media Commission and the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency shall remain in force unless replaced or amended by decisions made by the Communications Regulatory Agency. In addition, all acts, codes, rules, guidelines and decisions made by the Communications Regulatory Agency as set forth by the Decision of the High Representative of 2 March 2001 shall remain in force unless replaced or amended by the agency itself.
1 (b) The current members of the Council of the Agency, appointed by the High Representative, shall remain in office until the expiry of their mandate at which time, and within sixty (60) days thereof, the Council of Ministers, on the basis of a list of candidates submitted by the Council of the Agency, and the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall respectively nominate and appoint the succeeding members of the Council of the Agency in accordance with Article 39 of the Law.
1 (c) The Acting Chief Executive, appointed by the High Representative, shall remain in office until no later than 31 October 2003, by which time the Director General shall have been appointed pursuant to Article 40 of the Law.
1 (d) The mandate of the current six (6) members of the Enforcement Panel is hereby renewed until 31 December 2004. The High Representative shall replace a member of the Enforcement Panel in cases pursuant to Article 42 paragraphs (1a) through (1g) of the Law.
2) The Law on Communications of Bosnia and Herzegovina as hereinafter set out and which forms an integral part of the Decision herein is hereby enacted.
The Law on Communications of Bosnia and Herzegovina imposed by this Decision shall replace the Telecommunications Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina 10/99).
The said Law shall enter into force pursuant to Article 50 thereof but on an interim basis, until such time as the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopts the same in due form, without amendment and with no conditions attached.
This Decision shall come into force forthwith and shall be published without delay in the Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Official Gazette of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Official Gazette of Republika Srpska and the Official Gazette of the District of Brcko.
Sarajevo, 21 October 2002 Paddy Ashdown