By Mladen Dragojlovic – Banja Luka
Ambassadors of Great Britain and Germany in BiH, Edward Ferguson and Christian Hellbach, in last two days visited all the key politicians in BiH in order to present them a new, and probably last, plan for reforms in BiH.
This plan, which some analysts in the country call “the last train”, is initiated by the Foreign ministers of these countries and was presented several days ago in Berlin. As the ambassadors said during the meetings with the politicians, this proposal for reforms in initiated to renew the european perspective of BiH and the “change of dynamic in the dealing with European issues. The aim of the new British-German initiative is to bring BiH in candidate status before the end of next year. If politicians agree and implement the plan, the country would benefit from an easier approach to IPA funds, necessary for the country’s survival. But, if politicians fail to implement this plan, BiH and them personally will be punished and Western countries will be initially direct and then very sharp about it.
EU will demand from newly elected politicians to perform a wide range of reforms in almost all aspects of life. Together with economic and political reforms BiH politicians will have a hard task to finally implement the decision of the Court for human rights in the “Sejdic – Finci” case, regarding the rights of national minorities in BiH.
When the initiative was first presented in Berlin, it was clearly emphasised that plan doesn’t drop the standards the country must achieve on the road to EU. In addition, reforms do not apply just just to politicians, but to all citizens and it will have a positive and practical influence on everyday life.
Key politicians in BiH Federation, during the meetings with Ferguson and Hellbach, agreed that new initiative is necessary and that they will oblige to fulfill it. Bakir Izetbegovic, from the Party of democratic action, said that it is necessary to agree on the road map with EU and gave their full support to the efforts of UK and Germany to bring BiH on the road to the EU. Leader of Democratic front, zeljko Komsic said that it is good that the initiative is focused on citizens life issues, while the leader of the Party for Better Future BiH, Fahrudin Radoncic, said that the initiative is a great stimulus for political subjects in BiH to bring the country on the road of economic and political recovery.
Ambassadors Ferguson and Hellbach also visited Banja Luka on Friday and presented the initiative to politicians of the Republic of Srpska. During meetings, all of them agreed that it is necessary to make this step forward, but some of them have additional conditions.
The leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats and president or RS, Milorad Dodik, said that initiative should give priority to the resolution of economic, social and other issues, and then to accelerated resolution of other EU-related issues in the state.
“During the meeting in Banja Luka with Christian Hellbach and Edward Ferguson, Dodik expressed his willingness to become one of the politicians who would commit to accepting the obligation to implement these changes, as long as they do not encroach the Constitution or result in a transfer of jurisdiction, was announced from Dodik’s cabinet.
But, as it was announced, “Dodik pointed out that the key goal of the newly-formed government should be to bring Bosnia and Herzegovina into a position of being able to get EU candidate status, recalling that Srpska has had an active approach to solving the so-called two EU-related issues – the Sejdic-Finci and the setting up of a coordination mechanism – from the very beginning”.
President of Socialist party, Petar Djokic, also agree that this is good and essential initiative for BiH’s future, but said that all solutions “must take into account the specificities of BiH”. Ambassadors also held meeting with the leader of the party of democratic progress, Mladen Ivanic, who said that the initiative gives a bigger chance to the country to approach the EU but, at the same time, it makes local politicians more responsible to the social and economic problems of citizens and the functioning of the justice system.
What’s important is that citizens, according to a poll conducted on a radio station’s web page, don’t believe that politicians will accept the initiative. From a total of 546 citizens who answered the question, 68,13 % answered that they don’t believe that politicians will accept it, 24,17 % said that they will and the rest said that they are not sure.