Serb opposition: Reform Programme takes Bosnia to NATO, that's irreversible

NEWS 21.12.2019 13:16
Source: N1

The Reform Programme will take Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as its Serb-dominated region, to NATO and that's an irreversible process, Bosnian Serb opposition leader Branislav Borenovic told a press conference on Saturday, accusing Milorad Dodik, the leader of the ruling SNSD party of totally diminishing the stance of Republika Srpska and its institutions in this process.

The statement comes a day after the opposition unveiled the content of the Reform Programme, a document which will be sent to the NATO HQ in Brussels instead of the Annual National Programme (ANP) and which is considered a step forward in Bosnia's relations with the alliance.

Although the Serb leadership and RS institutions have been strongly objecting the country's NATO path, SNSD leader and member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, recently signed the Reform Programme, whose content has just been unveiled.

“He did this all alone without consulting not only the citizens and the public but not a single institution of Republika Srpska. The NATO membership process will be led solely through the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, without a single opportunity of the Republika Srpska institutions to take part in that process,” said Branislav Borenovic, the leader of the opposition PDP party.

“It is completely clear, the Reform Programme will take Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska to the NATO alliance and that's an irreversible process,” he added. 

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According to Borenovic, it would have been much “wiser” if the things were defined in a different way. “We believe that this whole process was hidden from the public for no reason and that this was an attempt to draw the attention from what0s the essence of this document,” he said, adding that the process will include the transfer of competencies from the Republika Srpska level to the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“A great leader with little heart, a coward, he's trying to hide behind the decision of the (Republika Srpska) National Assembly. The document has been verified and signed, it is going to Brussels. Milorad Dodik's hiding behind the Assembly, and he stepped on it dozens of time. This document means the abolition of the National Assembly, it doesn't exist,” said the opposition leader, suggesting that the parliament of Bosnia's semi-autonomous region was supposed to declare on this matter first.

“We're not talking the content (of the document) itself but about the procedures of how this document has been created. Why was it hidden from the public?” he asked.

The Reform Programme was signed in mid-November, more than a year after Bosnia held elections, with this document being a main obstacle to the government formation at the state-level. While the Bosniak and the Croat members in the State Presidency conditioned the government formation with the adoption of what was initially known as the Annual National Programme and later the Reform Programme, the Serb member strongly objected the document adoption, rejecting also the country's path to the NATO.

The document was eventually signed, which led to the appointment of the Prime Minister-designate and further procedure towards the final government formation.