Agreement finally reached on coordination mechanism

Agreement finally reached on coordination mechanism

Sarajevo, August 17, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

BiH Council of Ministers Chairman, Denis Zvizdic, his deputies, Vjekoslav Bevanda and Mirko Sarovic, entity prime ministers, Zeljka Cvijanovic and Fadil Novalic, met in Sarajevo on Wednesday to finalize the “coordination mechanism”, an extremely important document for the continuation of BiH’s path toward EU.

After meeting, Zvizdic announced that this job is finished and that, after several months of controversial talks, official and unofficial meetings and media accusations about this issue, BiH can expect a better status in regard to EU funds for next year. The coordination mechanism, in fact, is the document which define responsibilities and obligations of different levels of government in BiH in negotiations with EU on full membership. The last successful meeting about this issue was held in East Sarajevo between leaders of ruling parties in entities, Milorad Dodik and Bakir Izetbegovic. They met in an restaurant in the abscence of the third largest party leader, Dragan Covic, from Croat Democratic Union. Covic had claimed that the meeting is not legal because the agreement was reached without the Croats and that level of cantonal governments is totally excluded from mechanism. A few days after the “restaurant meeting”, Izetbegovic called Covic on the meeting in another restaurant, but he didn’t come. Izetbegovic and Dodik agreed that it is not impossible to change the agreement in order to put cantonal governments in charge for certain issues. The result was visible on the meeting on Wednesday when Zvizdic and entity prime ministers agreed to include these remarks in the final document.

On the press conference after the meeting, Zvizdić said that next week the coordination mechanism should be finally adopted at the meetings of the governments, and that in autumn he expects  the questionnaire of the European Union.

“I expect that in the autumn we will receive a questionnaire from EU, and by then the coordination mechanism will be in full and practical implementation. It will be an important instrument to quickly and adequately respond to the questions that we get”, Zvizdić said, adding that the adoption of the coordination mechanism in the pre-election period is an indicator that the government knows how to prioritize.

RS Prime Minister, Zeljka Cvijanovic, added that the adopted document is applicable in the practical interaction of different levels. She said that representatives of all levels of government have special obligations and responsibilities  in accordance with their constitutional powers. Cvijanovic pointed out that the mechanism of coordination is not a new institution but a body through which the BiH will negotiate with the EU. The RS government will agree next week to adopt a text of the coordination mechanism and that it will be sent in parliamentary procedure in this entity.

“I’m sure it will be adopted because it is in the interest of RS and others in BiH”, Cvijanovic said.

Fadil Novalić, FBiH Prime Minister, said that the Government of FBiH will adopt the coordination mechanism on Thursday if the text is ready.

He added that an agreement on this important document clearly confirmed that BiH is going in the right direction, and that this sends a message to the EU that BiH authorities are ready to reach a consensus.