Bosnia and Herzegovina is at a crossroads and it has never been closed to the European Union, international peace envoy, High Representative Christian Schmidt said on Wednesday following a two-day session of the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board (PIC SB) in Sarajevo. Pročitaj više
It is possible to make a significant progress in the following months, Schmidt hopes, adding that this would mean a significant incentive for the citizens of the country.
He reiterated a strong support of the international community to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This is the moment to give the best for the integration process that is only starting now and which means a lot of obligations especially for the politicians, Schmidt stressed.
European Union, he continued, is not “a la carte menu” but everyone needs to be in that “kitchen” and prepare everything together.
International community, according to him, observed a certain amount of progress but the European road requires more.
As for the presence and role of the international community in the country, Schmidt, who oversees the peace process implementation, said that the country must take over its obligations in the future.
Commenting on the session of the PIC SB political directors, which takes place every six months to evaluate the situation in the country, Schmidt said that they discussed the secessionist rhetoric of the Bosnian Serb leadership and emphasised that the international community and EU are ready to protect this country and its citizens if necessary.
The session also discussed the technical integrity of the election process in BiH, which, according to the High Representative, needs to improve in order to hold the 2024 elections in a better environment. Therefore, the Parliament was requested to continue the implementation of protection mechanisms to make sure every vote is counted adequately.
As for the state property issue, which was also on the PIC SB meeting agenda, Schmidt said that this work has to be done together and that the international community will provide assistance.
He also emphasised the need to strengthen judiciary, stressing that the Constitutional Court must not be “touched.” Bosnia's Constitutional Court if an independent institution, Schmidt noted, urging both entities to name their candidates in the Court.
The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and experienced people working there must be protected, Schmidt added.
This is not trial of Republika Srpska or Serb people but of Milorad Dodik
Commenting on the trial of Republika Srpska entity President Milorad Dodik before the State Court over the refusal to recognise Schmidt's decisions, which was supposed to commence today but was postponed, the High Representative stressed it was not Republika Srpska but Milorad Dodik who is before the court.
He refused to comment on the case, saying it is up to court to declare on it. However, he denied that this was a political process, stressing that the trial concerns only Dodik and not the Serb people or Republika Srpska.