Members of the European Parliament Tineke Strik and Dietmar Köster who are among the signatories of a recent letter to Bosnia's High Representative Christian Schmidt and EU High Representative Josep Borrell to respond to the current political crisis in BiH announced their arrival to the country.
As spokespersons for BiH of their respective political groups in the European Parliament, MEPs Köster and Strik will travel to BiH on November 12 and 13 to engage in talks with various stakeholders, among which the High Representative, the collegium of the Inter Agency Working Group (IAWG), the Central Election Committee (CIK), Members of Parliament of various political parties, including members of the opposition, as well as civil society representatives, non-governmental organisations and other relevant stakeholders, said the announcement.
“We find ourselves at a crucial stage for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The coming weeks have the potential to determine the country's future for the decades ahead. It is vital for the country to return to a stable and predictable political reality. But if the international community, particularly the EU and its Member States, continue to allow escalation and reward those actors who are the cause of this crisis, this will result in an exclusive deal lacking the genuine support of a large part of BiH's population, further cementing ethnic division. Such a deal may seem to solve tensions on the short term, but will, in the long run, hamper the country's functionality and stability and prove disastrous for its European aspirations,” the Dutch Tineke Strik from the Greens/EFA, said.
German Dietmar Köster (S&D) noted that they “cannot remain silent in the face of ethno-nationalist rhetoric and actions of such gravity that they could fuel tensions in the entire Western Balkans region. There is no place for genocide denial in Europe. Nor for impunity for political leaders breaching the Rule of Law. We reaffirm our strong support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as its European integration. Only a democratic Bosnia and Herzegovina based on the Rule of Law will a future in the EU.”
In their letter from October 2021, the MEPs expressed “gravest concern” with the developments in BiH as well as the steps taken towards secession of Bosnia's Serb-majority entity Republika Srpska. They urged the two officials to condemn those steps “in strong terms” and use the available tools to “bring the nationalist forces in the RS political leadership to reason.”