International administrator: BiH state budget a priority for stopping COVID-19

NEWS 23.03.2020 13:24
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Source: N1

International Administrator in Bosnia, Valentin Inzko, urged Bosnian authorities on Monday to promptly adopt a regular state-level budget for 2020, thus helping the unhindered fight against the spread of the new coronavirus in the country

The international community's High Representative, in charge of overseeing the civilian implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, said he fully supports coordinated measures taken by the authorities at different levels of government in BiH to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

These challenging times have shown that political and institutional leaders can effectively work together for the same purpose, he added.

Inzko noted that “these measures include, first and foremost, ensuring the uninterrupted, adequate financing and unimpeded functioning of Bosnia's institutions. To that end, it is the responsibility of the Bosnia's Council of Ministers, Presidency and the Parliamentary Assembly to promptly adopt a regular state-level budget for 2020, “ he said in his statement.

He argued that this would remove the limitations arising from temporary financing that can seriously impact Bosnia's ability to adequately respond to the COVID-19 crisis or any other extraordinary situation that the country may confront.

“The absence of a budget would also affect the ability of Bosnia's institutions to discharge their constitutional and legal obligations, including the organization of the October 2020 Municipal Elections, as well as numerous other important issues,” the statement said. “Politicians should under no circumstance use this crisis to push other agendas.”

Also, he said, unilateral and uncoordinated activities have limited value to fight the COVID-19 crisis. On the contrary, they drain attention and resources from areas where their presence and assistance could be of real use for the citizens, Inzko argued.

The High Representative also urged citizens to fully follow the instructions of the authorities.