The Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency said on Friday that the country's Serb-majority entity of Republika Srpska (RS) will never give up on the constitutional mechanism of Vital National Interest, which the European Commission in its Opinion on Bosnia’s EU candidate status said negatively affects the functioning of the parliament.
The ‘Vital National Interest’ mechanism enables representatives of the three main ethnic groups in Bosnia - Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs - to veto the adoption of any legislation they find harmful to their respective group until the Constitutional Court decides on the matter.
According to the Opinion EC Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application for membership of the European Union, the mechanism affects “the effective functioning of parliaments, risking to delay the adoption of legislation.”
“All Bosniak parties come together when they want to harm us and that is why we will never agree to the abolishment the vital national interest, no matter what the Europeans want. We will keep pushing our political narrative, no matter what anyone may think about it,” Milorad Dodik told the RS public broadcaster.
He argued that there was never any understanding between the peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that the basis upon which reconciliation is being advocated is wrong.
"Are we at war now? What kind of reconciliation are we talking about, let us live our lives, we here in Banja Luka, the Croats in Mostar, they (Bosniaks) their own lives in Sarajevo. Our history is burdened by the fact that some mark something as a victory while others hold a commemoration over it," Dodik said.
The Bosnian Serb leader stressed that the international community should also respect the positions of Republika Srpska on some issues, which he argued has not happened so far.
He complained that Serbia and Croatia are excluded from the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) - a body of international officials and foreign ambassadors overseeing the implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement.
“Now we have a situation where Serbs and Croats are dissatisfied with the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and where they feel cheated by the interventionism of the international community in favour of Bosniaks. Bosniaks also feel cheated, because they did not get what someone promised them,” he said.
Dodik said that at every meeting with representatives of the US and the EU, his Bosniak and Bosnian Croat colleagues in the Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic, ask for protection from “some malicious influence from Russia.”
“I am a man of peace and I want us to try to agree on a Bosnia and Herzegovina that is in the interest of Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks and that all this is agreed without any foreigners. If that is not possible then it would be best if we would separate and live as neighbours,” he said.