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Attempts to Relativize the European Parliament Resolution on Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Who is Responsible for Non-Implementation of the ruling “Sejdić-Finci”

Attempts to Relativize the European Parliament Resolution on Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Who is Responsible for Non-Implementation of the ruling “Sejdić-Finci”

Attempts to Relativize the European Parliament Resolution on Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Who is Responsible for Non-Implementation of the ruling “Sejdić-Finci”
May 23
08:44 2014

European Parliament, the supreme legislative body of the European Union, adopted 6th of the February 2014 the Resolution on the 2013 progress report on Bosnia and Herzegovina. This Resolution contains several clear and undoubtful positions and statements which, even at the brief reading, significantly differ from the usual political rhetoric and practice of the “International Community” representatives. Generaly speaking, the term “International Community” is extremely poor-defined, so it covers very wide spectrum of the stakeholders–international organisations, governments and other bodies of the sovereign states, international and other non-governmental organisations, lobby groups and think tanks. However, recent specific history of Bosnia and Herzegovina caused that this term is usually taken for granted in its public sphere, where it is promoted as entirely undoubtful, exact and unambiguous. In that sense, the actors encompassed by the term ‘international community’ are perceived as  a coherent group with mutualy aligned actions, motives and goals, almost easily identifiable as members of a single political federation having unified decision making and executive capacities.

EP RESOLUTION V.S. PHANTOMIC „INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY“

Under such condition, it is not so hard on the part of media which are trying to present the positions of the few among enlisted stakeholders, usually those who are essentialy marginal or informal and hence politically irresponsible ones – as highly commensurable to the position or even dictate of the entire “International Community”. For that reason and due to positions which are in that way incorrectly dispersed across BH publicity, it is of utmost relevance overtly to accentuate contradiction and oppositeness of positions derived in such maner against those enshrined in the recent Resolution of the European Parliament – as a political body of highest legitimacy and democtratic value on the EU level.

Contrary to earlier voices of the “International Community” which were enthusiastically underlined and interpreted in BiH untill its adoption, Article 2 of the Resolution states that the European Parliament:

Welcomes the six-point agreement reached in Brussels on 1 October 2013, but deplores the obstruction of its implementation by centralist forces; stresses the importance of following the principles of federalism and legitimate representation in order to ensure BiH’s path;

Designating centralist forces as the most responsible for obstruction of theBrussels Agreement and the principles it contains, sharply contrastes, until now dominant and almost exclusive, focus on the separatist and even all decentralist tendencies as the strongest, if not the only source of the political obstacles to the integrity, stability and even basic functionality of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the other hand, underlining of the federalism as the basic principle which should be followed, significantly contributes to the removal of stigma, imposed to that institutional path for decentralisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the most part of the public sphere. Advocating the principle of the legitimate representation indicates that the institutional electoral and post-electoral manipulations which offended the political will of Croats, the less numerous constitutive people in Bosnia and Herzegovina have not gone unnoticed in the European Parliament. Undoubtful proof of that is the direct referral of the Resolution to the Brussels Agreement, which underlines that

the method of election of the two Presidency Members from FBiH through constitutional amendments, should, in addition to the Strasbourg Court ruling, prevent imposing the outcome of election results on any Constituent Peoples or “Others”.

In Article 6 of the Resolution, the European Parliament, inter alia:

reminds the Commission that EU enlargement goes beyond a mere transfer of the EU acquis and must be based on a true and comprehensive commitment to European values; calls for continued EU engagement with the BiH leaders and a rethinking of the EU’s approach towards BiH…

This article approves the existence of differences, until now “hidden”, between the political will of the parliamentary majority in the supreme legislative body of the European Union and certain high officials within its executive authorities. For example, just 12 days after adoption of the Resolution, sharply against its recommendations, European Commissioner for the Enlargement Štefan Füle demonstratively abrogated his mediation activities with leaders of seven strongest parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which aimed implementation of the mentioned articles of the Brussels Agreement related to the enforcement of the „Sejdić – Finci“ruling. Those profound differences and political incongruity between the highest EU bodies are even more clearly in the Article 7 of the Resolution, in which, inter alia, the European Parliament:

invites the Commission to further strengthen efforts to facilitate an agreement on the implementation of the Sejdić-Finci ruling guaranteeing equal rights for all constituent peoples and citizens

It is also indicative that, contrary to the usual interpretation of the mentioned ruling exclusively in the sense of equal electoral rights for the citizens who do not belong to the constitutive peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this article of the Resolution directly relates the enforcement of the ruling “Sejdić – Finci” with the rights of the constitutive peoples. It is clearly stressed that the principles and basic intentions of the ruling are not related exclusively to equalisation of the political rights members of national minorities and citizens with other forms of collective identification, with the political rights of the citizens who belong to the constitutive peoples, but also to the equalisation of the political rights among members of the three constitutive peoples. Such wider interpretation of the ruling and its extension are fully justifiable, since the ruling does not address the collectivities such as, but the individual citizens as the members of certain collectives instead, with intention to secure equal rights for all social groups in terms of their adequate political representation, which ensures the true projection of the existing social pluralism in the political institutions.

The Article 11 will be the last one mentioned. Contrary to the behaviour of the Commissioner for the Enlargement Füle, who entered the negotiations of BH political leaders with an extreme formal neutrality (in the sense of not expressing, at least publicly, almost any substantial position related to the topic of negotiations itself, i.e. to the political-administrative reconstitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina), in this article the European Parliament, inter alia:

reiterates that constitutional reform remains key to transforming BiH into an effective and fully functional state; urges the Federation to consider concrete proposals in this regard, including the merger of some cantons and the redistribution of competences, in order to simplify its complex institutional structure, ensure a more balanced representation of all constituent peoples and citizens, eliminate ethnic discrimination…

Former article addresses, the entity of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the framework that should be thoroughly redefined,  which is the level of political authority usually out of the focus of the phantomic “international community” and its self-proclaimed interpreters/representatives, who usually describe the State level as “too week”, the level of entity Republic of Srpska as “too strong”, and the most frequently expressed characteristic of ten cantons is that they are “too numerous” or even “superfluous”. Except this, the Article 11 reaffirms the need for existence of cantons as the important element for accommodation of differences and for policy-based implementation of the principle of constitutivness within the wider federal system of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Article 11 also provides quite specified policy recommendations, as  the one about merger of the cantons, contrary to ‘loudest’ ‘representatives’ of the “international community”, especially lobbyists and media advocates who are highly averse towards “redrawing the maps”, which is simply inherent to the concrete proposal of cantons merger. Besides that, repeated mentioning of the need for a more balanced representation of all constituent peoples, whose equal rights are appealed for in the previously quoted article, drastically narrows the manoeuvre space for further, until now usual neglecting of that – actually the most important aspect of the everlasting institutional crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

PREVIOUS POSITIONS ON BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA OF THE ACTORS WHO ARE TRYING TO RELATIVIZE THE RESOLUTION

Resolution of the European Parliament expectedly has become the topic of political debates in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also among the actors who are dealing with the problems of this country, especially within the EU institutions and in their close expert and lobbyist environment. Among better represented schools of thought in those debates, it is exactly the one whose main goal is to relativize all the articles of the European Parliament Resolution which differ, as described above, from the usual discourse of “international community” and to bring the EU policies back on the “certified” centralistic path. Among the main promoters of that school of thought are Kurt Bassuener and Bodo Weber, analysts and officials of the Washington based NGO Democratization Policy Council (DPC), with main focus on the “Western Balkans, self-defined on its web presentation as „A global initiative to promote accountability in Western democratization policy“.

Former definition suggests certain level of the rigidity, non-flexibility and even dogmatism, which are potentially perilous in approach to the highly complex problems, related to democratic constituting of the communities pluralistic by their population ethno-national and political identity. Such an approach that insists upon „pragmatic“ export of democratic doctrine in its theoretically „pure“, but factually highly abstract form – unadjusted to specific needs of the country user/receiver – suffered untill now from the serious criticisms due to its inefficiency, short-term and poorly sustainable effects, and essential non-democratic features of its basic methodology. In accordance with mentioned definition, DPC decisively rejected any possibility for easing of the European path of Bosnia and Herzegovina by treating the implementation of the ruling „Sejdić – Finci“ as the condition contained within the negotiations on the accession, instead of actual insisting on its implementation as strict precondition for opening of negotiations, which are seriously threatened by that.1. It is important to stress that DPC rejected such ideas as early as in the autumn 2013, much before they found their practical expression in particular initiatives of the official political actors, as in the initiative of the Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Vesna Pusić. It could be said that overall intention of the analysts such as Bassuener and Weber (who appear to know everything in advance,  rendering any analysis redundant) is  keeping and hopefully increasing social and political tensions, which would keep Bosnia and Herzegovina at the hearth of the international focus, as well as creating expectations, both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the „international community“ circles, that huge political problems in the country could be solved only by diplomatic and political interventionism of the “international community”, instead of the political agreement and compromise among the democratically elected representatives.

Consistent  with their usual approaches, Bassuener and Weber  also covered the last winter protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina and insisted upon unquestionable and full moral supremacy of the civic actors who don’t have any democratic legitimacy given by the voters (groups of the citizens, NGOs, grassroots movements, informal groups – so called “plenums”) over actors who received such legitimacy trough the procedure of democratic and free elections (political parties and their officials in the authorities)2. They also insist on the moral supremacy of the actors which do not represent (at least not on the explicit way) the interests and positions of any among the three constitutive peoples, over the actors which are representing them. They are labelling the functioning of political parties and other actors which are dedicated to the identities and interests of the particular constitutive nations as nationalistic, and directly blame them for all the problems in the country including protests. They called for punishment measures for those actors by the hand of officials of the “international community”, including the appointed persons without direct democratic legitimacy. In that way they paradoxically ask the key political and other actors of the “global” West to act in Bosnia and Herzegovina exactly against the basic “Western” values: representative (electoral) democracy and equal rights of the peoples, which are secured in the significant number of the pluralistic democratic countries through carefully built institutional mechanisms of the consociational democracy, including federalism as well as various mechanisms of decentralization..

In an interesting debate with Gerald Knaus, analyst of the much more flexible oriented think-tank European Stability Initiative (ESI), Weber justifies the setting of the preconditions for beginning of the EU accession process of Bosnia and Herzegovina harder than in the case of any previous candidate country, by „enhancement of the Euro-integration conditions and instruments, based on the previously acquired experiences of the EU enlargement“3. Any possibility for manifesting such enhancement of mentioned conditions and instruments via more creative approach, favourable for the particular candidate country, is rejected by Weber and his thesis that Cyprus and Bulgaria are the examples of fatal downgrading of membership criteria, while the accession of Croatia and agreement between authorities in Belgrade and Pristina undoubtfully approve the positive effect of the „creative expanding and introducing of new criteria“ in comparison with the previous cases. One of the key argumentations for such thesis is his highlight of the expected expansion of Euro-sceptic forces in the upcoming term of the European Parliament, so it becomes unclear does this analyst oppose to those forces, or he involves himself and his organization in specific functional symbiosis with them on the issue of further EU enlargement.

In that light it is not so surprising that he lamentied over „transfer of the Western leadership in Bosnia and Herzegovina from USA to EU, and responsibility for reform and integration processes from OHR to domestic leaders and bodies of EU in charge for the enlargement“. Weber takes for granted that „OHR is almost completely neutralized over time“, so completely underestimates the recent role of that institution without democratic legitimacy in constituting the key executive bodies at the level of entity Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the way which severely damaged the legitimacy of those institutions and produced serious institutional crisis. OHR and its head High Representative used the rough political-institutional violence and cancelled legal and legitimate decision of the relevant state Institution (Decision of the Central Electoral Commission from 24th March 2011), which declared that the elections for the House of Peoples of the Parliament of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina were not conducted in all ten cantons in accordance with the Electoral Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so that the conditions for their constituting were not fulfilled. He also cancelled the decision which declared that the election of the President and Vice-Presidents of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina, conducted by the Decision of both Houses of the Parliament of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina, was not conducted in accordance with the Electoral Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina and which cancels the election of President and Vice-Presidents of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina. Finally, he made scandalous decision that five pro-centralistic „Croatian“ delegates in the Parliamentary Group of Croatian People in the House of Peoples of the Parliament of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina are one third out of 17, that is the total number of delegates in that Parliamentary Group. By that decision, High Representative factually enabled the establishing of illegal and non-legitimate Government and President of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina and triggered worst deepest political crisis in that Entity and across Country after the war.

ATTEMPTS TO RELATIVIZE THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION ON BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

At the track of his explicitly expressed political preferences, Weber also provided his positions on the Resolution of the European Parliament:

Positions of the EP rapporteur Doris Pack are not identical with the positions of Berlin. I did not see the support in Berlin for the idea of third entity. Anyway it is hard for me to contribute to that debate about „position of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina“, because I cannot see how the discourse created by occupying the position of Croat member of Presidency and expelling of two HDZ’s from the Federal Government, i.e. non-access to administrative resources, is related with the true needs and structural problems of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Hysterical homogenization of Croat parties and struggle for the „position of Croats“ based on the alliance with the person like Milorad Dodik, cannot be anything else than false concern4.

It is unclear why Weber reduces the entire Resolution on the „idea of the third entity“ when the recommendations it contains were not developed to such level of details. It is possible that Weber and actors who share his views are disturbed by any, explicitly vkisible in the case of this Resolution, definition of the principles for reconstituting of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as of the guidelines for the possible further debate on that issue. Those principles and guidelines in general allow introduction of very flexible frame of decentralization and consotiational institutional arrangements in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which need not neccessarly to include introduction of one or more new entities. Intensity of the fixation on the „third entity“, i.e. the entity in which all the three peoples would be constitutive, whereby Croats would have only demographic majority (as Bosniaks and Serbs have now), is so high that the support for the “third entity” is , consequently tabooed and “excommunicated” from the public debate, or even explicitly demonized.

Regardless from rapporteur’s Pack position on the entities and other levels and modalities of political organization of Bosnia and Herzegovina, statement that her positions are not aligned with those of the “Berlin” exhoes extremely non-realistic and biased, having in mind that over last 15 years she is representative of the ruling and undoubtedly the strongest German Party in the European Parliament – Christian Democratic Union, which is at the same time the strongest member of the European Peoples Party, as the biggest political group in the European Parliament. Extremely cynical and demagogic connotation is included in Weber‘s statement that, by his own words, occupying the position of Croat member of Presidency and expelling of two HDZ’s (Croatian Democratic Union and Croatian Democratic Union 1990) from the Federal Government, i.e. obstructed access to administrative resources to two leading Croat parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which together enjoy more than 80% of the Croatian electoral support, is not related with ‘true’ needs and structural problems of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If usurpation of the Croat positions in the official bodies and institutions which hold and manage political, symbolic and economic resources, for Weber does not relate to true needs and weak structural position of Croats, than his position can be labelled not only as cynical and demagogic, but also as malicious towards Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and their political, economic and cultural rights.

Claim that the struggle of Croatian parties for „position of Croats“ is ‘false concern’ because of the alleged alliance with Milorad Dodik, is a completely wrong thesis, senseless at various dimensions, which promotes cheap demagogic labelling instead of non-existing valid political and logic argumentation. The result is negative emotional and affective effect among the readers, so it serves only keeping attention away from the real political problems and the actors that caused them. (Those actors are all non-Croats who elected Željko Komšić instead of Croats, all the parties belonging to the so-called „Platform“ coalition, representatives of which participated in the election of the illegal and non-legitimate Government and President of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina, and OHR which suspended the decision of the authorized state institution and violated the laws of the mathematics and logics and thus enabled the „political circus with the elements of the coup d’état“, known as the Government and President of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Bassuener and Weber provided the wide overview of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina5, where they don’t even mention the Resolution, perhaps hoped in that way to diminish its relevance and impact. However, they advocate implementation of the solutions which relativize Resolution’s articles quoted above, or even directly oppose them.

Initiatives of Croatian foreign minister Vesna Pusić for rethinking of the EU approach to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is also explicitly promoted by the Resolution, is followed by the significantly hostile attitude of two authors.

Their main complaint is that her recommendations are „based on the position that EU implemented the strict conditionality towards Bosnia and Herzegovina“, while, by their opinion, „EU factually demonstrated almost unlimited flexibility instead of firm conditionality“. Authors claim that the „Commission accepted linking of the ruling „Sejdić – Finci“ to the „Croatian question“ instead to the rights of the „Others“ in Bosnia and Herzegovina“, so that it accepted „privileges that are attributed to the constitutive peoples in their relation to citizens“. That acceptance, by them „lead to the negotiations with political leaders on the constitutional changes, which is not related to the conditionality of the Stabilization and Association Treaty, so the Commission has no mandate to do so“. Finally, they claim that „Croatian proposal would practically establish „the Croatian problem“ as the part of EU official policy.“

Quoted statement of Bassuener and Weber on the „Croatian question“ is in the deep internal accordance with centralistic forces, which use ruling provided in the case „Sejdić-Finci“ to advocat that the ruling is exclusively related to the individual civic rights, i.e. rights of the citizens who belong to the group of the „Others“, sugessting that such ‘pure’ civic rights are legally and politically equally neutral towards the rights of all the three constitutive peoples in (Federation) Bosnia and Herzegovina. It would mean that for the enforcement of the ruling one shouldn’t refer to the rights of the constitutive peoples, but only and exclusively regarding rights of the citizens as abstract individuals which constitute the imagined nation state or demos. Such interpretation is erroneous in several respects. The first one is the fact that Sejdić and Finci sued the state Bosnia and Herzegovina not only as abstract citizens Dervo Sejdić and Jakob Finci, but also as the Romani and the Jew. Exactly the fact that Sejdić and Finci have their collective/ethnic identities inhibits them to candidate for members of Presidency as the members of one among the constitutive peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Referring to their collective/ethnic identity and trying to protect it, Sejdić and Finci claimed and acquired the right not to declare themselves as members of one among the constitutive peoples in the process of electing the Presidency.

Since Sejdić and Finci have their particular ethnic, collective identity, they belong to the particular group within the group of the „Others“, to the group which in the legal and political theory and practice of the majority of European countries has the status of „national minority“ and some collective rights based on that status. Those collective rights, in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, include the right not to express the belonging to one of constitutive peoples in the candidacy process for the members of Presidency. Except them, the group of „Others“ also includes the citizens who do not relate their collective political identity to any of the three constitutive peoples, but also do not belong to the category of „national minorities“, but relate their collective political identity exclusively with the state and citizenship.

Before describing specific position of those citizens, we will underline that in accordance with still unofficial results of the population census held 2013, 96 % of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina freely declared themselves as members of one among three constitutive peoples, while only 4 % of the citizens belong to the group of „Others“, which means that probably less than 2 % citizens do not belong nor to any of constitutive peoples, neither declare themselves as members of particular „national minority“. Thus, only around 2 % of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina actually belongs to the category of „Others“, and 98 % of the citizens belong to the categories of constitutive peoples and national minorities, so in the categories of the citizens who don’t  or only partialy relate their collective identity with state and citizenship. The right for independent and free choice of one’s own collective identity belongs to the individual civic rights. Thus, from the perspective of the individual civic rights, it is equally legitimate in Bosnia and Herzegovina to declare as a) member of Serbian, Croatian or Bosniak people, b) member of Romani or Jewish people, or c) citizen who don’t identify him/herself in the political sense nor with any of constitutive peoples at one side, neither with any of national minorities at the other side, but derives own political identity from the status of the citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Although the Resolution, as mentioned before, directly relates the enforcement of the ruling „Sejdić-Finci“ with the rights of constitutive peoples, Bassuener and Weber claim that its enforcement has no relation with „Croatian question“ in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this way they don’t only deny the principles supported by the Resolution, but also methodologically incorrectlly suggest that the enforcement of the ruling could be interpreted as unambiguous legal request. If their position would be true, the ruling would be already implemented long time ago, because there would’nt be what to negotiate about, or, at least, the actors responsible for its non-implementation would be clearly and undoubtfuly named. The problem with the ruling is that it has not only the legal, but also the political dimension and weight, and that it is possible to implement it in many ways, trough many different models. Any of those models of implementation is necessarily relevant for the constitutional and institutional structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina and implies certain changes in its legal and political system. Those changes are directly referring to the rights and positions of all citizens, whether they belong to the group of the “others” or to any of the constitutive peoples.

Another huge bias that centralist forces try to legitimate by mentioned hypothesis is that the enforcement of the ruling is legally and politically equally neutral towards all of three constitutive peoples in (Federation) Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this way they are creating the false impression that the advocates of the collective rights of the constitutive peoples are at one side, and the advocates of the rights of the “Others” and the advocates of the individual civic rights are at the other, which is why they suggest that civic rights are not compatible with the collective rights. By giving clear advantage to the individual civic (human) rights over the collective rights, proponents of the mentioned hypothesis are suggesting and advocating the model of implementation which would take into account exclusively the rights of the “Others” and individual civic rights. The main feature of that model is abolishing of the ethnic/national entry in the election of the members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and abolishing the constitutional and legal obligation that one member of the Presidency elected in the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina should be from the Bosniak people, while the other one should be from the Croatian people.

Although mentioned constitutional clauses should be understood in the spirit of consociationalism and federalism, in the way that one member of the Presidency should have the Bosniak electoral legitimacy and the other member the Croatian electoral legitimacy (representative democracy), the clauses are almost always interpreted by the centralist circles in the sense that one elected member should be a Bosniak and another one a Croat, independent from the fact who elected them (affiliation democracy). Such wrong interpretation of the representative democracy serves as justification of the fact that in the elections 2006 and 2010 citizens who declared themselves as Bosniaks in the population census elected both the Bosniak and the Croat members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Such outcome was possible due the fact that Bosniaks consist around 75% of the population of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croats around 20 %, and the „Others“ around 5 %. In that way only the Bosniaks had possibility and privilege of the group choice, which indirectly discriminated not only Sejdić and Finci, i.e. 5 % citizens of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina from the group of the „Others“, but also 20% of the citizens who declare themselves as the Croats, i.e. one of the three constitutive peoples.

The solution proposed by the advocates of centralist option takes into account only discrimination of „Others“, while completely ignores the fact of the discrimination of Croats, one among the constitutive peoples, conducted over them by another constitutive people – Bosniaks. Abolition of the ethnic clause for the candidacy and election of the members of Presidency would enable to the „Others“to candidate for that position (the right to be elected), but it wouldn’t enable them to elect their representative – they already have the right to elect. Mentioned abolition would be relatively acceptable way solve the issue of Sejdić and Finci, i.e. the issue related to 5 % of the citizens from the group of the „Others“. The highly problematic element in that centralist proposal is its relation towards the constitutive peoples and their rights. That proposal, for example, does not consider all the constitutive peoples as equal and is not neutral towards constitutive peoples, but favours one constitutive people (Bosniaks), while discriminating another one (Croats). More precisely, it enables the legalisation and legitimisation of the political, and consequently economical and cultural majorization of Bosniaks over Croats. In the case of implementation of that model, citizens who declared themselves in the census as the Bosniaks, would always elect both members of the Presidency elected in Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina, due to their demographic domination.

Centralist model is severely breaching the principle of the equal rights of constutive peoples, but it is also opposed to the existing Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as to the Resolution of the European Parliament. It is important to underline that the Resolution was supported by 468 out of the total number of 766 (61.10 %) members of the European Parliament, with 80 votes against (10.44 %) and 35 abstained (4.57 %), and that it was supported by representatives of the European People’s Party, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and other parliamentary groups of the European parties, i.e. the political coalitions of both moderate right and moderate left orientation.

While the centralist model is using the illusion of the civic neutrality to favour the members of one constitutive people and enables them the majorization over the members of another constitutive people, consociational-federalist model, presented and advocated by the representatives of Croat parties during the negotiations on the implementation of the ruling „Sejdić-Finci“, protects the legitimate rights of all the constitutive peoples and the „Others“, enables the existing majorization over Croats by Bosniaks and ensures the enforcement and implementation of the principle of equal rights of constitutive peoples.

In the consotional-federalist model all the citizens from the group of the „Others“ have the right and opportunity to become the candidates for the members of Presidency, as well as the right to elect them. Thus, that model completely fulfils all the conditions imposed by the ruling „Sejdić-Finci“. The reason for its rejection by the advocates of centralist model is in the fact that the consotional-federalist model prevents the majorization of the Croats by Bosniaks and assures implementation of the principle of the equal rights of all the constitutive peoples. Trying, however, to keep the majorization over Croats, centralist forces led by the leader of Social Democratic Party Zlatko Lagumdžija, during the whole negotiation process rejected all the consotional-federalist models, which are not only abolishing the discrimination of SejdićFinci and the „Others“, but also prevent the further discrimination and majorization of the members of the less-numerous constitutive people. Through such rejections, the centralist forces are obstructing the enforcement of the ruling „Sejdić-Finci“, deepening mutual mistrust between the members of the constitutive peoples, constantly producing new disputes and political instability of the entire state system, slowing down the process of European integration and preventing the solution of too numerous social and economic problems. That is what the members of the European Parliament recognized and condemned by their Resolution.

After all it is clear why the advocates of the centralist solutions are trying completely to ignore the Resolution, or at least to relativize and minimize the importance and strength of its messages. In cases when former is not sufficient they call for open and public opposing to the „spirit and letter“ of the Resolution. The best example of such readiness is the statement of Zlatko Lagumdžija, president of the Social Democratic Party and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina6, that it is easier for him to give up the European Union than to accept the content of the Resolution. It would be the information clear enough for all the individuals and institutions well-intentioned towards Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

  1. http://www.democratizationpolicy.org/uimages/pdf/LostintheBosnianLabyrinth.pdf
  2. http://democratizationpolicy.org/pdf/briefs/DPC%20Policy%20Brief_Bosnia-Herzegovina’s%20Social%20Unrest.pdf
  3. http://www.democratizationpolicy.org/dpc-senior-associate-bodo-weber-s-reply-to-gerald-knaus–esi
  4. http://www.klix.ba/vijesti/bih/njemacki-analiticar-weber-za-klix-ba-njemacka-ne-podrzava-treci-entitet/140318013
  5. http://democratizationpolicy.org/a-common-western-policy-pivot
  6. http://www.vecernji.hr/eu/stier-reakcija-bosnjackih-zastupnika-je-na-tragu-istupa-lagumdzije-933554

 

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