In an interview with Vecernji list daily, High Representative Christian Schmidt said that the aim of the amendments to the Election Law and the Constitution of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) entity, which he imposed on the night of the election, was not to benefit only one ethnic group but to enable the removal of political blockages.
“I am a rational German. First, we should be clear that we will not create a paradise in BiH. Second, the Croats were not totally suppressed. Third, Bosniaks also live here and should live here. I would be happy if all those who see some advantages or disadvantages talk about them. There is simply a lot of talk and little decision-making in this country. I can tell you that from my experience here. Emperor Francis Joseph, who ruled here, once said: ‘I was a good ruler if all my people were equally dissatisfied’,” said Schmidt.
The High Representative emphasized that all parties in BiH should make more efforts to reach a consensus on important issues.
“I said that I am taking away the possibilities for blockades, and this also applies to the possibilities that the Croat side would also use. And I think that when reaching a consensus, we must move away from the principle of imposing a veto and focus more on reaching an agreement,” said Schmidt.
According to him, open issues in BiH should be resolved through mutual discussion within the country.
Schmidt believes that Bosnia's European path can be a goal around which all parties will gather.
“I would certainly like to ask the EU to grant BiH the status of a membership candidate country in the coming months. I know that everything is not the best in BiH, but I think that we need a political signal for young people, we need to give them the perspective to stay here. I think that message is very important,” said the High Representative.
He added that the European Union should not talk about the region as a problematic area, but should clearly state that the Western Balkans is part of Europe.
“If we want a secure, economically and energetically stable Europe, we must also cooperate with this region. And it is in our interest to have these countries within the EU. Some countries like BiH need a little more help in that, but I cannot agree with leaving an empty space here to be filled by someone else from outside Europe. This is not a game of whether BiH will join the EU. This has become a geostrategic issue, and many have overlooked it,” Schmidt concluded in his interview with Vecernji list.