Members of the European Parliament said during Tuesday discussion that Milorad Dodik, the Bosnian Serb Presidency member, is the one threatening Bosnia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and peace demanding EU actions and even sanctions against him, calling the situation in the country a geopolitical problem.
Slovenian MEP Anze Logar, was the first to speak saying the current blockade of state institutions is unacceptable.
“BiH citizens are concerned about issues that are crucial to their lives. Political leaders need to bridge this situation and focus on joint efforts that will enable reforms that will accelerate the country’s European path,” he said, noting that the BiH Constitution is not in line with the Human Rights Convention.
In his address to the European Parliament, Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, said that the Commission was closely monitoring the situation in Bosnia and that it was concerned.
He stressed that the European peacekeeping force ‘EUFOR Althea’ will continue to support a secure environment in the country and the path to reform.
“We demand that the BiH leaders work on de-escalation and demand dialogue and that tensions do not increase. It is really necessary for that country to have such an environment that it can receive funds from the EU, especially for the recovery from the pandemic. The situation in which leaders do not solve problems for citizens, from corruption to the departure of young people, is worrying. The EU supports constructive dialogue and the protection of state institutions. Political leaders need to cooperate and work on the implementation of 14 key points on the road to the EU,” Dombrovskis added.
International community shouldn’t compromise on democratic reforms
Tineke Strik, a member of the European Parliament, called on the European Union to impose sanctions on Milorad Dodik, a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“Like many others, I regret that the international oversight of BiH is still needed because the country is blocked due to corrupt ethno-nationalist politicians, and this oversight is really something that is a huge responsibility for the international community in preserving the Dayton Peace Agreement and the Constitution. Dayton is now under pressure, Milorad Dodik is playing a dangerous game and bringing the territorial integrity and sovereignty of BiH into question, and we cannot accept that. I ask the EU ministers to impose sanctions against Milorad Dodik and I ask the entire international community not to make compromises on the issue of much-needed democratic reforms and to finally separate itself from ethnic and political divisions,” Strick pointed out.
She stressed that the current status quo will not help take the situation so she asked for concrete action. “Please do it for the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Strik.
Threat to peace has a name – Milorad Dodik
Michael Gahler, a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, pointed out that the present situation in BiH the biggest threat to the country’s integrity and the Dayton Peace Agreement.
According to him, the situation is not only a threat to peace in BiH but also in the entire region.
“The threat has a name and it is Milorad Dodik. Why doesn't the Council speak clearly about it. This gentleman who has the support of Belgrade and Moscow must be named,” he added.
He then asked a few questions to the European Commission.
“How will the commission talk to the High Representative about whether you are ready to strengthen Althea's mission or to send military forces to both entities. Will we adopt and impose sanctions against persons undermining the integrity of BiH? Sanctions against Dodik and his enablers – that is the clear task of this Parliament,” Gahler concluded.