The Honorary President
Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling is the honorary president of the organization. Both the activities and the spirit of the organization stem from his work over ten years (1995–2004) as the international mediator in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has dedicated the last three decades of his life to promoting peace in Southeastern Europe (SEE).
Before his work in SEE, Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling, retired Federal Minister (Bundesminister), served as the Minister for Post and Telecommunication of Germany (1982–1992). As a member of the German Parliament (1976–2002), he served in various capacities, which included the roles of chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid (1995–1998) and member of the Committees on Foreign Relations (1995–2002) and the Economy (1993–1998). After leaving the German Parliament, he has focused on furthering the concept of mediation in Southeastern 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 ten years of his mandate (1995–2004), the format and structure of mediation at the local level changed according to the needs and local situation. Dr. Schwarz-Schilling sought to promote the dialog between disparate parties and reduce tensions by finding step-by-step solutions to daily problems. As a 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 against the background of the international community’s request to shut down the OHR. During this time, he used his mediation efforts to shift responsibility for 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 the honorary president. He serves as a mentor and senior advisor to the organization and continues to lobby at the international level for sustainable policies in SEE. Until 2020, Dr. Schwarz-Schilling held a Chair for Political Sciences and International Relations at the School of Science and Technology in Sarajevo. He also dedicates his efforts to the China-Tibet conflict.