BRUSSELS – All three BiH Presidency members attended a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday with Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (AFET). MEPs exchanged opinions on the situation in Bosnia with the three officials.
The European Parliament also held a plenary debate on the latest developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 8 March, in which MEP laid out their views on the state of affairs in the country. The Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to vote on its latest assessment report on the country in the first half of the year, followed by a plenary resolution.
“The political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is increasingly tense, with nationalist and separatist rhetoric and activism continuing to threaten peace, stability and the country’s integrity, as well as undermining the functioning of its state institutions”, stated from the EP.
Serb member of Bosnia’s Presidency said during address that Serb-majority region, Republika Srpska, has no plan to secede and that it wants a “constitutional Bosnia and Herzegovina. “I am not here to argue with my colleagues, although I disagree with many things said here”, said Dodik N1 reported.
Dodik accused them of always claiming they are the ones with the right stances and saying what is true or not. He stressed that BiH has been in a “permanent crisis”, and that all those who know the situation also know this was always the case and that “it has never had a successful period without a stronger international intervention, which caused many troubles whether we like it or not”.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina can certainly not be a state-organized based on the will of only one people, in this case, the Muslims in BiH who wish to complete their war but using different tools”, said Dodik accusing his Croat colleague of being a “usurper of the rights of the Croat people to representation”, who was elected with “false Muslim votes in BiH”.
“We currently have two Muslim members of the Presidency and one Serb”, Dodik said. According to N1, Dodik mentioned Džaferović’s participation in the war of the 1990s, saying that this has never been inspected. He added that the Republika Srpska entity was done with the Hague-based UN court and that there is nobody to be prosecuted anymore in reference to the war.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is at a political crossroads, and while the best path for the country is to implement reforms that would bring it closer to EU and NATO membership, neighboring Serbia and Croatia are trying to impose options that could lead to conflict, BiH Presidency Chairman, Željko Komšić.
“I will repeat what you all already know regarding who the key political actors are, especially Russian political actors, with the hope that this time this will be heard and remembered. This is important because the security of almost the entire continent is threatened by the Russian aggression,” Komsic said, N1 reported.
Komsic warned that the “ethnically structured electoral system that is trying to be imposed in one part of BiH is the definitive beginning of the dissolution of BiH with a very uncertain outcome.” He argued attempts to opt for this option are being imposed from BiH’s neighboring countries, Serbia and Croatia.
He mentioned the “Serbian world” and assessed that it is identical to the so-called “Russian world”.
“How else to call the open interference of the Republic of Croatia in the internal affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, such as in amending the Election Law, all while calling for the protection of the rights of the Croat people in BiH, without seeing the similarities to Putin’s call to protect the Russian people in Ukraine,” Komšić told
Presidency Member Šefik Džaferović assessed that BiH is at a turning point and noted that the political crisis in the country has been going on for more than half a year and was caused by the moves of political representatives from BiH’s semi-autonomous Republika Srpska entity.
Džaferović warned that authorities in the RS entity, led by his Bosnian Serb colleague in the Presidency, Milorad Dodik, are openly threatening the Dayton Peace Accords. “All relevant international actors have stated in their reports and statements that these moves are secessionist,” he said.
He also spoke about electoral reform in BiH, arguing that Bosnian Croats are in no way discriminated against and that they have considerable power in BiH institutions.
“Judgments of international courts have confirmed that the Dayton Agreement is a dynamic framework. We have heard many times the false statements that the Croat people in BiH are endangered,” he said, adding that the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the rights of the Roma, Jews, Bosniaks, Serbs, Albanians, and others are endangered in BiH, but that there is no such international ruling regarding Croats in the country.