Bosniaks should stop conditioning the formation of the government with assurances that the country will continue to walk the path toward NATO membership, as internal peace is more important than international commitments, a lawmaker from the main Croat party, Nikola Lovrinovic, told N1 on Friday.
Bosnia has applied for NATO membership years ago after a decision to join was adopted by all three members of the country’s presidency - the Bosniak, the Croat and the Serb.
But Bosnian Serbs changed their mind later and refuse to allow the country to make the next step on that path. After the October 2018 election, it was their turn to propose the next prime minister and the one they offered already stated he will not let the country adopt the necessary Annual National Programme (ANP) - which is the next step.
This is why the Bosniak Presidency member, Sefik Dzaferovic, refuses to greenlight that candidate. Therefore, Bosnia has no government - officially called the Council of Ministers - for the past eight months.
“Firstly, there will not be one Annual National Programme, there will be several of them,” said Lovrenovic, who is a member of the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ), which has formed an alliance with the ruling Serb Alliance of Social Democrats, led by Milorad Dodik.
Dodik is the Serb member of the country’s Presidency and will not give up on his candidate.
“It can be on the agenda once the Council of Ministers is formed,” said Lovrinovic, adding that a minister from his party tried to include the issue into the agenda for the past eight months.
“The HDZ’s stance is clear - we are in favour of NATO integration and we will state it when the time for it comes,” he said adding that “without peace internally, we cannot solve issues like the one with NATO.”
“We have no working groups, our parliament is not working,” he said, arguing that the issue of the ANP cannot stand in the way of government institutions.
He said that he believes there is a way to reach a compromise and that his sources say it is being worked on.
“We need to respect each other,” Lovrinovic said. “We can resolve these issues through an agreement. When we agree, the image of us outside will be different and better.”
“If the Bosniak bloc does not respect the partners (in the government) and internal solutions, it could take very long. That is bad,” he said.
However, he also said he heard that an agreement is in sight both regarding the ANP and the forming of the government.
“I hope that a solution will be found, that following the annual leave (during the summer) we will have a government formed,” he said.