High Representative Valentin Inzko met today with a delegation of the German Parliament headed by Marieluise Beck, and briefed them on the current political situation, including the recent referendum in the RS and post-election challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“EU accession is the overarching priority. BiH is at the beginning of a long journey, during which elected leaders and institutions will need to show a willingness to transform the country in order to advance the EU integration process. If there is a genuine political will, early candidate status, which I have always advocated for, can help this effort and help to alleviate future obstacles,” said High Representative Inzko.
As one of the main obstacles slowing down BiH’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community, the High Representative mentioned the recent RS referendum on the issue of January 9. “The primary target of the RS referendum was not a holiday, but the rule of law itself. The referendum on the RS Day took place despite a final and binding order from the Constitutional Court of BiH. Such blatant disregard for judicial institutions and their decisions calls into question the commitment of the RS authorities to basic democratic values.”
The High Representative used this opportunity to once again thank the German MPs for their country’s continuous interest and support for the reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the German-UK reform initiative, which has subsequently moved forward under the umbrella of the European Union.
The head of the delegation of the German Parliament stresses, that “EU integration means cooperation and working together. The citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina could benefit enormously from the EU integration process and EU funds if a culture or compromise and cooperation would lead the country. Unfortunately, some play the nationalistic card to distract form bad governance and lack of reforms. For some, the EU accession process contradicts their personal interests since more rule of law and independent democratic institutions could weaken their influence. The voters have to decide whether they want to elect the ones that are really trying to pave the way into the EU or that ones that are pro-European only on a declarative level.”
The delegation of the German Parliament also consisted of Michael Brand, Josip Juratovic, and Gerold Reichenbach.