BiH: Different views on the Slovenia Summit

BiH: Different views on the Slovenia Summit

As it was possible to expect, the most senior Bosnia and Herzegovina officials differ in their views of the outcome of the EU-Western Balkans summit held in Slovenia on Wednesday.

BiH Presidency Chairman Željko Komšić think that the Summit sent a positive message to BiH, Serb member Milorad Dodik says the gathering will only contribute to BiH’s break-up.

As media reports, Komšić, who contrary to previous practice when all three Presidency members attended such events, was the country’s only representative at the summit held in Brdo pri Kranju, said that he considered the event a compromise solution reconciling Western Balkan countries’ expectations to be given a clear timeframe for accession to the EU and the views of those EU countries, like France, that are in principle opposed to further enlargement until the EU consolidates.

Speaking in an interview with the Federation BiH public broadcaster, Komšić said that it should be clear that Western Balkan countries were objectively not ready for EU membership.

He said that the Slovenia summit had removed doubts as to whether countries in the region should focus on mutually connecting through the Berlin Process, which is strongly supported by Germany, of through the Open Balkan initiative, which is supported by Serbia.

The fact that the EU plans to set aside €30 billion to support projects within the Berlin Process while offering “zero euros” for the Open Balkan, is for Komsic a clear indicator of what Bosnia and Herzegovina should treat as a priority.

As for neighbouring countries’ attitude towards BiH, Komšić said that he did not like hearing Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said after talks with Croatian PM Andrej Plenković that Serbia and Croatia “agree 90% on BiH.”

“I can say that (Slobodan) Milošević and (Franjo) Tuđman agreed 90% on BiH and we know how it ended. What is the 10% they do not agree on? It seems that BiH, even though we have thought that that time has passed, has for the third or fourth decade been the main dish on Zagreb and Belgrade’s menu. That is certainly not something that is good for us in Bosnia and Herzegovina but it is not good for Zagreb or Belgrade either,” Komšić said.

Dodik, who strongly supports BiH’s membership of the Open Balkan project, was angered by the fact that the invitation to the Slovenia summit was sent directly to Komšić and not to the other two BiH Presidency members as well.

In an interview with the ATV broadcaster, he said that in that way the EU was contributing to disintegrative processes in the country.

Dodik is equally angry at the USA, the EU and the UN because their officials either ignore or strongly condemn his policy of secessionism.

He was additionally angered by the fact that the European Court of Human Rights had appointed a new judge to serve on the BiH Constitutional Court, Ledi Biancu, an Albanian who was a judge at the European Court of Human Rights and is a professor at the University of Strasbourg.

The BiH Constitutional Court consists of three foreign judges and three judges each from the BiH’s constituent peoples. Dodik has been campaigning for years for the removal of foreign judges and he enjoys the support of the Croat HDZ BiH party in that regard.