BiH: “Historic agreement” or another failure?

BiH: “Historic agreement” or another failure?

Day after leaders of the biggest political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina signed an agreement to unblock the democratic processes in the country and open the path to the establishment of the most important institutions, such as the Council of Ministers, reactions differ, depending on the side of the political spectrum.

EU welcomed the agreement and especially the fact that EU Special Representative in BiH, Lars Gunnar Wigemark, hosted the meeting. The importance of the event is visible through the fact that even the EU Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, also welcomed the signing.

Ruling coalition in Republika Srpska supported the agreement signed by SNSD, HDZ and SDA leaders Milorad Dodik, Dragan Čavić and Bakir Izertbegović.

The participants of the meeting, held in Banjaluka on Tuesday, assessed that the agreement was in accordance with the Resolution on Military Neutrality and all acts passed by the National Assembly of Republika Srpska.

After the meeting, Dodik said to the media that the ruling coalition in Republika Srpska supports the Principles for authority formation at BiH level because they are in line with Republika Srpska acts, including the Military Neutrality Resolution adopted by the National Assembly.

“We have assessed that the agreement reached by three political parties in Sarajevo on Monday, is acceptable to coalition partners in Republika Srpska. Support was given to the provisions that will allow the formation of the Council of Ministers”, Dodik stated.

He emphasized that all elements of the agreement were in line with the acts of Republika Srpska, primarily with the Resolution on Military Neutrality.

“We have always said that co-operation with NATO and other military organisations are not disputable, but that membership is not acceptable. You could see that there was no NATO membership clause in the agreement, but it could be discussed in the future, but those responsible from Republika Srpska always have a resolution on military neutrality”, Dodik recalled.

Newly elected president of the RS opposition Serb Democratic Party (SDS), Mirko Šarović, however, said that the agreement is, essentially, the capitulation of Milorad Dodik and opens the way for Republika Srpska to join NATO and that there is no dilemma that “this deal is a defeat of the policy of non-alignment with NATO, military neutrality and coordination of steps when it comes to military alliances with Serbia”.

Šarović says that SDS consider Milorad Dodik is too cheap to sell this consent for NATO integration to join the Council of Ministers.

“Additionally, participants and signatories to the agreement say that NATO integrations will go slower over a three-year period, which practically means that the SNSD will introduce us to NATO in its mandate, which is just that long. Given that Milorad Dodik is leading Republika Srpska to NATO’s path, as this is obviously his only way of joining the Council of Ministers, the issue of a resolution of the RS National Assembly on military neutrality is also being raised. Will the National Assembly give up the resolution because it is in conflict with the agreement anyway. In any case, we will raise this issue,” Šarović said.

The agreement has also been greeted with scepticism in Federation BiH, where opposition Social Democratic Party BiH (SDP BIH) consider it “impossible”. Party president, Nermin Nikšić, said that it is just “a firework”, which the three leaders need at this political juncture.

“Dodik needed to show that no one else in the RS can be a partner and be a solution in unblocking the formation of the Council of Ministers and authorities at the BiH level. Each of the three leaders interprets the agreement in its own way, and Dodik interprets it in a way that has nothing to do with NATO’s path to BiH. Unfortunately, I would say that citizens are the biggest losers here. This is another Dodik victory on the path of the destruction of BiH institutions”, Nikšić said.

He believes that Bakir Izetbegovic was the one who was less pressed to reach an agreement, because, contrary to the views of SBB and DF partners, he agreed to “fully deliver the state’s fate into the hands of the SNSD and HDZ”.

Most analysts agree that many agreements in the past were named “historical” but the country is in permanent political crisis. Thus, they think that it would be best to wait and see what will be happen in the next 30 days./ibna