The Honorary President

Prof. Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling is the Honorary President of the organisation. Both, the work and the spirit of the organisation stems from his work over ten years (1995-2004) as the International Mediator in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has dedicated the last two decades of his life to promoting peace in South Eastern Europe (SEE).

Before his work in SEE Prof. Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling, Bundesminister a.D., served as Minister for Post and Telecommunication of Germany (1982-1992). As a member of the German Parliament (1976-2002) he served in various capacities, including Chairman of Subcommittee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid (1995-1998) and member of the Committees on Foreign Relations (1995-2002) and Economy (1993-1998). After leaving the German Parliament he has focused on furthering the concept of mediation in South Eastern Europe.

He was formally mandated in 1995 by the international community, the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the President of Croatia to assist local leaders with problems arising from the Dayton Peace Process. During the 10 years of his mandate (1995-2004), the format and structure of local level mediation changed according to the needs and local situation. Dr. Schwarz-Schilling sought to increase dialogue and reduce tensions by finding step-by-step solutions to daily problems. As mediator he conducted over 185 local mediations in 55 municipalities. He dealt with issues of return, reintegration, proportional representation, human rights and economic development.

In February 2006 Dr. Schwarz-Schilling was appointed High Representative and EU Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. He took office with the request of the international community to close the OHR. During this time he used his mediation efforts to shift responsibility of the peace process from the international community to the Bosnian leaders. During his tenure he advocated for a “do it yourself” policy but concluded that after 15 years of international supervision, Bosnian leaders were not ready to shoulder the responsibilities of state building on their own. After eight months in office, he reversed his position and called for the Office of the High Representative to remain open.

In June 2007, Dr. Schwarz-Schilling returned to CSSP as Honorary President. He serves as mentor and senior advisor to the organisation and keeps on lobbying at the international level for sustainable policies in SEE. Additionally, Prof. Dr. Schwarz-Schilling currently holds a Chair for Political Sciences and International Relations at the School of Science and Technology in Sarajevo and he further dedicates efforts on the Chinese-Tibet conflict.