Ethno-nationalism in the Western Balkans represents a threat to stability and security, specifically in Bosnia, and the European Union should adopt a new approach towards the country and not only talk to “the so-called leaders of the ethnic groups,” German MP from the Alliance 90/The Greens, Manuel Sarrazin, told N1.
Sarrazin recently asked Germany’s Federal Foreign Office about the government’s position on the reforms of Bosnia’s election law which could lead to the creation of a “third entity” in the country.
Bosnia is, according to its Constitution, composed of two semi-autonomous entities, the Federation (FBiH), mostly populated by Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats, and Republika Srpska (RS), with a Bosnian Serb majority population.
“I understand that Croats in Herzegovina are trying to push their political aims, but I think that the western states of the European Union are giving to much space for the argument of a third entity,” Sarrazin said, arguing that there should be more concern about the possibility that Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a state, might fail.
He said he sees Bosnia’s current state structure, including its semi-autonomous entities, as “a core point for the future of the country as a civic society.”
“I think that we need a new push from the European Union, new guidelines and a new engagement towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. I think that also we should look at new paths, not only checking out the old ways of trying to talk only with the so-called leaders of the ethnic groups,” he said.
“Let’s talk more about local issues. Let’s talk more to those ones who are at the ground level, bottom-up, who are more engaged and who are sometimes more successful than we recognise in Europe,” he added.
Sarrazin commented on the migrant issue in Bosnia, saying that the problem is that the EU does not want to accept the migrants on its territory and is unwilling to “take some of the burden” away from BiH, while at the same time asking BiH authorities to accommodate the migrants as well as possible.
The full interview with Sarrazin can be viewed in the video above.