BRUSSELS – In a joint statement, MEPs from four political groups firmly condemned the divisive actions by Milorad Dodik, calling for a change of the EU’s “appeasement strategy” towards him.
Rewarding secessionist policies sends a devastatingly wrong signal to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s politicians, citizens and the whole region, says the statement issued on Monday by MEPs from the EPP, S&D, Renew and Greens/EFA political groups. They urged the Council and EU Member States to follow the example set by the United States, and impose sanctions against Milorad Dodik, unless he radically changes course and takes concrete steps to de-escalate the current tensions.
“We, Members of the European Parliament, firmly condemn the ongoing dangerous and divisive actions by the Serb Member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, Milorad Dodik, which amount to a deliberate attempt to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as its constitutional order and other provisions of the Dayton Peace Agreement”, says the statement.
The implementation of all EU funded projects and assistance for and within Republika Srpska, including macro financial assistance and IPA III funding, should be subject to thorough reconsideration as a matter of urgency, with a view to immediately freezing direct and indirect funding that would benefit the authorities of this entity, state MEPs.
Furthermore, they urged the EU to ensure that free and fair elections will take place in October 2022 and express full and strong support to the Office of the High Representative and his entire mandate in Bosnia and Herzegovina as the competent authority to oversee the implementation of civilian aspects of the Dayton Peace Agreement, resolutely defending him against public attacks on his authority by Milorad Dodik, Serbia, the Russian Federation and other actors.
“It is high time for a more firm, clear and credible approach, based on democracy, the rule of law, as well as the 14 key priorities for the country to fulfill in order to be recommended for the opening of EU accession negotiations,” MEPs pointed out.
The statement was signed by Tineke Strik (Greens/EFA), Tonino Picula (S&D), Romeo Franz (Greens/EFA), Michael Gahler (EPP), Hilde Vautmans (Renew), Reinhard Bütikofer (Greens/EFA), Dietmar Köster (S&D) and Klemen Grošelj (Renew).