European Western Balkans

Schmidt: Violation of the territorial integrity in the Balkans in unsustainable

Christian Schmidt at the 2019 EPP Summit; Photo: Wikimedia

BERLIN – If we want to lead Bosnia and Herzegovina into the EU and transform it into a democratic country, we must not have a purely ethnic orientation, told Deutsche Welle the new High Representative in BiH Christian Schmidt, N1 reported.

Schmidt added that the violation of the territorial integrity in the Balkans is unsustainable.

He said that many would wonder why, 26 years after the Dayton Peace agreement and after Srebrenica, such an institution is needed that imposes certain barriers to the “ownership” and free democratic development. But, he noted that the last ten years have seen the country go backward not only in terms of the High Representative but unfortunately, also in the terms of the overall development.

“And that is why BiH still needs such international support. I will perform this function in the hope of making myself redundant at some point. I think we need to clarify three issues. First, I am coming to BiH as a politician, not as a diplomat. I warn you that some of my sentences may not be diplomatically concise, but they will be clear”, Schmidt said.

He pointed out that excursions made in recent years, such as the exchange of territories as a kind of solution or a way of calming potential conflicts in the Western Balkans, are not valid.

“Such an idea, that one minority should be replaced by another, is not sustainable. Therefore, there can be no talk of violating the territorial integrity of Western Balkan countries”, he said.

He said that he would not want to prescribe a unitary state to the citizens of BiH because not even Germany has such a system.

The new High Representative concluded that he is not coming to Bosnia to represent someone’s interests, but that he is there equally for everyone.

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