ZAGREB, December 15 (FENA) – In order to ensure a way out of the abyss into which we have been brought, it is necessary to use the current framework of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement, preserving the key values, and to ensure amendments of the BiH Election Law, ensure legitimate representation of constituent peoples at all political-administrative levels of government as envisaged by the BiH Constitution (Annex 4), preferably in the first six months of 2021, through a defined parliamentary procedure, which would relax relations and implement election results at all levels of government, said today the President of the Croat People Assembly (HNS) and the HDZ in BiH, Dragan Čović.
Addressing the participants of the conference “Heritage of Peace – 25 years of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement”, organized by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (HAZU), Čović said that this would be minimal, but a substantial step forward that could enable BiH to obtain a candidate status on the EU and NATO path.
“I believe that international representatives have repeatedly made mistakes towards BiH when it comes to Euro-Atlantic integration. The last joint attempt was in mid-2018, when we expected EU candidate status and the activation of the Partnership for Peace process. We had created the preconditions in BiH for this important step forward. Unfortunately, after the elections in October 2018, due to the brutal violation of the rights of the constituent peoples, we have a complete integration stalemate or a setback. Trust among the representatives of the three peoples is at the lowest possible level, which makes it impossible to shift the focus once again on our Euro-Atlantic path,” said Čović.
He added that, as representatives of the Croat people, one of the three constituent peoples in BiH, they are taking various initiatives to meet the conditions for obtaining EU candidate status in the next 6 months, after the adoption of amendments to the Election Law, and also to strengthen the level of cooperation with NATO with the establishment of the NATO Commission at the level of the BiH Council of Ministers.
“It is important to emphasize that next year, as it is a non-election year, is a real chance to do key reform activities in BiH and open perspectives for BiH’s Euro-Atlantic path,” he said.
In his address, Čović also said that today’s concept and the internal structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina have clearly deviated from the original agreement.
“In the same way, we can talk about changes to the Election Law, imposed in a similar way, without parliamentary procedure, and the best illustration of electoral misconceptions were the imposed solutions for the City of Mostar because of which we were not able to organize elections in Mostar for 12 years. To make the absurdity even bigger, the recent agreements on the elections in Mostar were the first to be agreed in the BiH Parliamentary Assembly with the necessary constitutional procedure,” said the president of the HDZ BiH.
“Lately, the protagonists of pro-Bosnian and Bosniak policies have been sending a clear message to the Croat people, calling them a minority, and how they will end this process in the 2022 elections. We can hear such statements on a daily basis from key representatives of “pro-Bosnian” political parties or their spokespersons. Hiding behind the concept of a civic, with clear intentions to build the Federation of BiH as the dominant, Bosniak state. Precisely because of such and similar attacks on BiH and its institutions, the silence of international representatives accredited in BiH, those same administrations that competed in imposing legal and constitutional solutions, is worrying. Just today, when more than 80% of BiH is left without representatives of the other two constituent peoples, that is, there are few environments in which you have the characteristics of multiethnicity or multiculturalism, as we have in the City of Mostar, it is a blow to BiH,” said Čović.
Čović added that because of all these attacks, with the silence of the ‘protectors’ and ‘interpreters’ of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement, we have the most pronounced institutional crisis in BiH, where “unitarism and separatism are visible through strategies and daily policies of key political factors, where proponents of the civic-unitary concept are perceived as pro-Bosnian, patriotic forces, and all who dare to point out the historical values of BiH society, its constituent peoples and clear federal determinants of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement, are being labeled as fascists, regularly in the public and in electronic media.