Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman said on Saturday Bosnia and Herzegovina would make a big step forward towards the EU if an agreement was reached on changing the Election Act to eliminate discrimination and enable Bosnian Croats to elect their government representatives.
“If we want BiH in the European Union and NATO, then BiH should achieve those standards of rule of law and European democratic values. One of them is changing the Election Act so that it eliminates discrimination and guarantees for each people equality and adequate political participation in all bodies and institutions,” he said in Mostar.
Grlic-Radman and Croatian Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Natasa Tramisak held talks with Dragan Covic, president of the Bosnian Croat HDZ BiH party.
Grlic-Radman said he was optimistic that the Election Act would be changed next year, adding that a majority of EU member states supported that.
He recalled that Croatia supported an agreement between Bosniak and Croat leaders from June 2019 on holding elections in Mostar, which have been scheduled for December 20, as well as on implementing a Constitutional Court decision to change the Election Act in line with the Dayton Peace Agreement.
“The Election Act is necessary for enabling equality and reflecting the spirit and letter of the Dayton Agreement which was signed by representatives of all three peoples 25 years ago,” Grlic-Radman added.
Covic said that for the past 20 years attempts had been made in BiH to change the agreement so the country could enter “the European phase,” but added that in the current state parliament there was no two-thirds majority for that.
“I'm very optimistic that in the first six months of next year we will change the Election Act which will provide for legitimate representation of all three constituent peoples and create the ground for making a step towards a European BiH. That will certainly require major changes in relation to the Dayton Agreement,” said Covic.
Tramisak gave a talk on the absorption of EU funds, saying a €184 million allocation for BiH was expected from European territorial cooperation funds. She added that Croatia would continue to financially support projects of common interest with BiH.