Members of the Peace Implementation Steering Board (PIC SB) met in Sarajevo to discuss the situation in BiH and called on BiH political and institutional leaders at the relevant levels of authority “to engage without further delay in constructive dialogue, in a spirit of compromise to enable the timely formation of functional legislative and executive authorities at all levels”.
PIC SB also called on politicians to refrain from blocking or obstructing the implementation of election results for narrow party interests and thereby holding the future of the country and its people hostage. In the communique issued after meeting, members of this international body emphasized that it is necessary that authorities work towards dialogue and cooperation free from divisive and irresponsible rhetoric and conducive to stability and progress, in particular by taking concrete steps starting at the highest political levels towards reconciliation in BiH.
“PIC SB encourages submission of the remaining answers to the questions of the Questionnaire, which would allow the European Commission to assess the readiness of Bosnia and Herzegovina to move forward on its EU integration path and to prepare the Opinion in a timely manner. The Commission’s Opinion will provide for a comprehensive roadmap on future EU-oriented reforms in the country – with a particular focus on good governance, rule of law, the fight against corruption, also aiming to substantially improve the track record on corruption cases, and public administration reform – and represent the basis upon which EU member states will take a decision on the next EU integration steps of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in line with citizens’ aspirations”, PIC SB stress.
BiH politicians are encouraged to focus on delivering urgent and concrete socio-economic and other reforms to improve the quality of life for citizens, by addressing unemployment, strengthening the business environment and restructuring state-owned enterprises, and improving public services.
“The PIC SB Political Directors met and encouraged the newly inaugurated BiH Presidency members to make every effort on behalf of BiH to protect the interests and equality of all citizens, and contribute to the country’s reform path. The PIC SB regretted the decision of one member of the BiH Presidency to leave the meeting before the discussion had begun. The PIC SB urged the members of the Presidency to show unity, work together and respect the laws of the country, including the Law on the BiH Flag”, PIC SB state.
The last sentence is the result of an incident that occurred on the beginning of the meeting with BiH Presidency members. Prior to the meeting, PIC SB members demanded the presence of just the BiH flag in the meeting room, but BiH Presidency Chairman, Milorad Dodik, demanded also the presence of the Republika Srpska flag. As there was no RS flag, he welcomed the members of PIC SB and the ambassadors and left the meeting. He explained that under Article 3 of the State Constitution, BiH is made up of RepublikaSrpska and the Federation of BiH and that he wants Republika Srpska to be represented by its flag, in accordance with the Constitution.
Dodik added that, given that the symbol of Srpska, one of the two equal entities in BiH, was not displayed, there were no conditions for his presence at the meeting, walked out and went back to his office.
During the day, Dodik announced a new dispute in the BiH Presidency, as NATO foreign ministers approved the first national programme of Bosnia and Herzegovina, offering the country a Membership Action Plan. For Dodik, the situation is clear – Republika Srpska National Assembly (RSNA) adopted the Resolution on military neutrality and he must respect that decision. This means that the BiH Presidency will not have a consensus about the activation of MAP. On the other side, BiH Presidency members, Željko Komšić and Šefik Džaferović expect to finda solution and “make the right decision”. Komšić earlier stated that RSNA Resolution has no effect since only Presidency decisions are legal in this case.
A few years ago, the Serb member of the BiH Presidency, Nebojša Radmanović, as Chairman, submitted the BiH Application for NATO membership. What’s interesting is that Radmanović is a prominent member of the Alliance of the Independent Social Democrats, the leader of which is Dodik./IBNA