The tripartite Presidency has sent Bosnia's ‘Reform Programme’ to NATO on Monday, only an hour after the House of Representatives voted for the new members of the new Council of Ministers.
The document was sent as the parliament of the Serb-majority semi-autonomous part of the country, Republika Srpska (RS), began a session where it was being discussed.
As Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik was entering the RS National Assembly building, several activists from the opposition Party of Democratic Progress (PDP) offered him NATO flags, as an expression of protest.
NATO remains unpopular with Serbs in both Serbia and in Bosnia's Serb-majority semi-autonomous entity of Republika Srpska (RS) since the alliance launched airstrikes against the Bosnian Serbs during the 1992-95 Bosnian war and against the Serbian military in 1999 during the conflict between Belgrade and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
The ‘Reform Programme’ is the result of a political deadlock which had crippled the country and prevented it from implementing the October 2018 election results until last month.
After more than a year without a new government formed in the country, the Bosniak and Croat Presidency members of the Presidency finally expressed in November support for a candidate coming from Dodik's party to take over the post of Chairman of the Council of Ministers – effectively the Prime Minister position.
They refused to do since the October 2018 election because Dodik’s Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), did not agree to send the Annual National Programme (ANP) to NATO – which would activate the country’s Membership Action Plan (MAP) and would represent the next step toward Bosnia becoming a member of the alliance.
According to the November agreement between the Presidency members, Dodik’s candidate will be sworn in but the country will also send a ‘Reform Programme’ to NATO.
Bosnian Serb opposition parties strongly criticised Dodik, saying he betrayed Serb interests and pushed the country into NATO. They argued that the Reform Programme is nothing other than the ANP, only different in name.
NATO is expected to decide on whether it will accept the document within the net few months and whether the country has made the most important step in activating its Membership Action Plan (MAP).