SDA official to EU Spec Rep: Varhelyi's invitation disregards BiH institutions

NEWS 28.06.2022 19:26
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Source: Bakir Izetbegović (N1)

According to a letter a top official from the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) sent to the EU Special Representative in Bosnia, the invitation of EU Enlargement Commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi, to meet with “representatives of constituent peoples” in BiH “does not respect the institutions and constitutional structure” of the country.

The General Secretary of the ruling Bosniak party, Halid Genjac, sent the letter to the Head of the EU Delegation, Johann Sattler, informing him of the position of SDA leader, Bakir Izetbegovic, regarding Varhelyi’s oral invitation.

Varhelyi invited Izetbegovic, as well as the leaders of the ruling Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat parties, Milorad Dodik and Dragan Covic, to meet on July 6 in Brussels.

Dodik is one of Bosnia’s three Presidency members and the leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), the ruling party in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity.

Covic is a member of BiH’s House of Peoples and the leader of Bosnia’s Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH).

In his letter, Genjac noted that Varhelyi’s invitation did not clarify what topics would be discussed at the meeting and asked for clarification in written form.

Genjac wrote that Izetbegovic cannot agree to the format of the meeting if he is invited as one of the so-called “representatives of the constituent peoples,” because such a format “does not respect the institutions and constitutional structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a simple sum of three “constituent peoples” and such a reduced format cannot bring any results, especially after the coordinated actions of the SNSD and the HDZ in the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary BiH to vote down laws that are a condition for meeting the priorities of the European Commission and granting candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the letter said.

Genjac noted that Izetbegovic was always willing to respond to calls for any kind of dialogue that would benefit the interests of Bosnia and Herzegovina and contribute to improving its functionality and speeding up the country’s EU integration process.

“However, the format in which such talks take place must include BiH institutions: the BiH Presidency, the enlarged Collegium of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly or representatives of all parliamentary parties,” Genjac argued, noting that if the idea is to conduct talks with representatives of the political parties that are in power, then the Bosnian Croat member of the tripartite Presidency and leader of the Democratic Front, Zeljko Komsic, should also be invited since his party is part of the ruling coalition.

He also argued that Dodik should not be invited to meet with EU officials, noting that the SNSD leader once again “announced secessionist moves” on Monday.

Genjac wrote that inviting Dodik would only strengthen his “clear and dangerous threats.”

“Instead of meetings in Brussels with the leaders of the European Commission, the president of the SNSD deserves urgent and effective sanctions from the European Union,” Genjac wrote.

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