Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Friday it was necessary to restore the trust between Bosniaks and Croats in the Federation entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina because, without it, it would be difficult to ensure the functioning of the country which is choosing a new parliament in October in accordance with the old law.
The issue of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina is important to Croatia and it is regrettable that the Bosniak and Croat parties have failed to reach an agreement on the electoral law reform ahead of the 2 October general election despite US and EU mediation, Plenkovic said at a working dinner held as part of the Global Europe Seminar in Salzburg on Friday.
In the autumn, “institutions will again be elected according to the old law and one constitutional people will not have its legitimate representatives,” the prime minister said and added: “That's why we will try to restore the trust between Bosniaks and Croats in the Federation because it will be difficult for the country to function without it.”
Earlier this week, the Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina called the general election for 2 October even though the election law was not amended to prevent the more numerous Bosniaks from outvoting the Croats and to ensure the election of legitimate representatives of the Croats.
War in Ukraine
Speaking of the war in Ukraine, Plenkovic said that Russia had largely underestimated Ukraine's resistance, adding that Ukraine should be assisted in different areas and its ambition to get a special status in the EU should be supported.
“Russia has largely underestimated Ukraine, the courage of its people, the heroism of its soldiers and their determination to to fight back,” the PM said. “We should support Ukraine's ambition to get a special status in the EU, but we should also support the EU membership ambitions of other countries.”
He went on to say that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict have diverted attention from other global crises such as the nuclear threat from North Korea, negotiations with Iran, tensions in the South China Sea, US-China relations, climate change and illegal migration. “Unfortunately, none of these have disappeared.”
Plenkovic said that the situation in the Western Balkans should be monitored closely. “We must not let those issues be overshadowed because they, too, require action.”
Noting that “every crisis is, at the same time, an opportunity,” the prime minister praised the EU for its COVID-19 response, saying that it was a sign of European solidarity that showed the Union's purpose and mission.
Plenkovic estimated that it was too early to say whether the EU would manage to resolve the energy crisis in the same way, by showing solidarity, and expressing hope that it would.
He mentioned the strategic decision to phase out the EU's dependence on Russian energy sources by taking into account the specific circumstances of each country and creating alternative supply routes and networks. In this context, he emphasised the importance of the LNG terminal on the Croatian island of Krk.