BiH: Schmidt in the BiH Parliament

BiH: Schmidt in the BiH Parliament

The High Representative of the International Community in BiH, Christian Schmidt, addressed the deputies from the Federation of BiH in the Parliament of BiH today because the deputies from the Republika Srpska refused to come to the session.

The rejection of the RS MPs is, first, the result of the imposition of amendments to the criminal law, according to which the denial of genocide became punishable, and the fact that the UN Security Council did not appoint Schmidt. However, Schmidt did not mind addressing only the deputies from the Federation of BiH in the state parliament.

“Not all MPs are there, but I hope they will attend and take the opportunity to talk because parliament is a place for dialogue,” Schmidt said, urging RS politicians to end the blockade of institutions.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is now in a situation where certain elected representatives are paralyzing the work of state institutions, which is not in line with the oath that everyone has taken, and politicians who do not focus on real challenges, in the long run, will not have support,” Schmidt said.

He announced that he would be in New York next week and that he would speak at the session of the UN Security Council. He added that he had recently visited countries in Europe and the region to keep BiH in the focus of the international community.

“Believe me, they are following it closely. Our common interest is to contribute to peace in the Western Balkans and especially in BiH. In these times, I understand very well that the citizens of BiH have many doubts because the elected people must work to convince everyone of a peaceful and common future that respects the rights of all. The international community and the High Representative take this very seriously. But that cannot happen without you and those who have responsibility for their country,” Schmidt said.

He pointed out that he “sees his position with all the competencies agreed upon by the international community”, but also criticized the deputies.

“The number of adopted laws is minimal. This negative trend has been going on since 2010. All those who try to find excuses but not focus on challenges will ultimately not get support. You know better than me what the challenges are in this country. It is about the young population. I hear too often about discussions, and whether this or that is better, instead of talking about how to get closer to the EU. The state budget for 2021 has not been adopted yet, and the temporary financing is until December. The fact that the budget was not adopted before July shows that we have to work on it,” the High Representative said.

He said he was surprised that the entities, and probably the cantons, were getting money without having to do anything about it. However, he also clarified that the imposed changes to the law due to which Serb representatives left the institutions do not only refer to the convicted genocide in Srebrenica but also give satisfaction to all victims. Speaking about the initiatives to withdraw the consent of RS for the formation of the Armed Forces of BiH, tax and other institutions, Schmidt said that it would not be feasible.

“The international community will not just sit silently and watch everything being destroyed. As High Representative, I invite you to work with me. I am not someone who came to dominate. Citizens do not deserve fear; an atmosphere of fear and division will accelerate the exodus of young people who are already leaving because of corruption,” the High Representative said.