Attempts to undermine state institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina “not only constitute a serious challenge from a legal and political point of view but would also result in overwhelming practical problems for citizens,” the High Representative in the country, Christian Schmidt, said during his visit to Banja Luka.
Schmidt, who is the international official overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, visited three key state institutions located in Banja Luka, the administrative centre of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity.
The visit comes in light of announcements by BiH Presidency member and leader of the ruling party in the RS, Milorad Dodik, that the entity will withdraw from a number of state institutions and form its own.
Schmidt visited the BiH Agency for Identification Documents, Registers and Data Exchange (IDDEEA), the BiH Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA), and BiH Agency for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, “to show his support and express appreciation for the important work these institutions are doing for all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the Office of the High Representative (OHR) said.
“The institutions I visited today provide indispensable services to all citizens of this country. Attempts to undermine such state institutions not only constitute a serious challenge from a legal and political point of view but would also result in overwhelming practical problems for citizens,” Schmidt said.
“Without these institutions, citizens would be deprived of personal and travel documents, effectively preventing them from travelling and interacting with the rest of the world. Financial flows to all levels of government would be interrupted with essential services for citizens being jeopardized. Of particular concern, during this global pandemic, citizens would be deprived of a reliable supply of high-quality medicine,” he said.
Schmidt also expressed gratitude for “the immense contribution these three agencies, along with all other state-level institutions, provide to all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the OHR statement said.