Croatia’s Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, said that the European Council adopted the EU Strategic Compass which mentions the concept of “constituent peoples” in BiH, arguing that it is a crucial moment for the EU to get more engaged in the process of electoral reform in the country.
“It is especially important that, on the proposal of Croatia, in the part that refers to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the equality of the constituent peoples in BiH along with, of course all citizens, is emphasised. We believe that this is very good and that in this way the entire EU has recognised the constitutional architecture of BiH,” Plenkovic said.
“I hope that this fact will now, in this final phase when we all seek consensus in constitutional and electoral reform (in BiH), be an incentive to all leaders in BiH,” Plenkovic told reporters.
The Croatian PM stressed that these efforts are vital for the stability and functionality of BiH. He also said the EU is ready to get more engaged in reaching an agreement with BiH leaders on electoral reform.
“Croatia is making this effort in good faith so that the entire EU can take advantage of this moment and give additional impetus to find a solution that will enable a stable and functional BiH in which all three peoples are equal,” he said.
The foreign and defence ministers of EU member states on Monday adopted a Strategic Compass, which also makes an explicit reference to Bosnia and Herzegovina's constituent peoples.
The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg welcomed the adoption of the Strategic Compass, but said they regret the fact that the text was amended to contain a reference to the “discriminatory concept of constituent peoples.”
Plenkovic commented on this, saying these countries “do not understand Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
“The debate I initiated last night, and then the conclusions we adopted this morning – that was extremely unusual,” Plenkovic said, noting that BiH has rarely been on the agenda of the European Council.
“We introduced it at a crucial moment. Now is the time for the entire EU to engage in order to put additional pressure on changes to the BiH Constitution and the BiH Election Law. Whether someone likes the concept of the constituent peoples or not, that doesn’t change the fact that they are the foundation of the Constitution of BiH,” he said.