Sarajevo, August 1, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
History has been busy in the last several months in BiH, since any meeting of politicians and any kind of agreement is proclaimed “historic”.
The latest of those meetings took place at a restaurant in East Sarajevo and was organized by the Head of EU Delegation in BiH and EU Special Representative, Lars Gunnar Wigemark. Participants were more than important, leaders of two biggest parties in BiH, Milorad Dodik from Alliance of independent Social Democrats and Bakir Izetbegovic from Party of Democratic Action. Dodik is also president of RS and Izetbegovic is actual Chairman of BiH Presidency.
Along with them, on the meeting were members of the parties on the highest positions in RS and BiH level, Chairman of BiH Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdic and RS PM Zeljka Cvijanovic. This was the first Dodik – Izetbegovic meeting in last two years. Just a few months ago, Dodik stated that he will never negotiate with Izetbegovic about any issue in BiH and especially about the “coordination mechanism”. This changed on Sunday when he arrived at the restaurant for the meeting.
Journalists, who earlier gathered in the front of restaurant, were confused with the meeting place because it was announced that they will sit and negotiate in RS Government Administrative Center in East Sarajevo, but it didn’t happen. In this case, the critical decisions for deblocking of BiH EU path were agreed in a restaurant.
Dodik and Izetbegovic agreed on a lot of issues. The most important is the agreement on the “coordination mechanism”, as the condition demanded by EU to continue negotiations about country’s candidate status, and the letter of intent for International Monetary Fund, which unblocked the credit line for BiH necessary for the normal functioning of institutions. The letter was signed and sent to Washington and the “coordination mechanism” will be implemented in next several months. As Dodik said to the media after meeting, the agreed coordination mechanism stipulated a consensus in decision-making which must include authorised representatives of the Republika Srpska and FBiH Governments and the BiH Council of Ministers. He also emphasized that the letter of intent was on the road to Washington.
But, as is always the case in BiH, there are some important political players who are not satisfied with agreement. Although the agreements were welcomed by all EU officials as important step forward, the leader of the Croatian coalition, sent a letter to The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Johannes Hahn, saying that agreement between two political parties in BiH can not be valid.
“The fact that the leaders of two constitutive nations in BiH had a meeting without knowledge of the third constitutive nation, and secretly discuss issues important for the whole of BiH is very inappropriate, Covic states in his letter, emphasizing that the whole level of government in BiH was expelled from the “coordination mechanism”.
Also, Covic said that agreements made in such a manner are unconstitutional, illegitimate and politically incorrect. Many other parties, mostly in opposition on entity level, also expressed their discontent with the “restaurant meeting”.
The leader of Serb Democratic Party, Mladen Bosic, stated on Monday that the agreement doesn’t represent any kind of obligation for parties gathered in Alliance for changes. The party of Democratic Progress RS announced that SNSD and SDA reached an agreement under pressure of “chronic lack of money in the budgets” and therefore had to take a decision on the letter of intent with IMF.