Bosnia and Herzegovina's Civil Affairs Minister Adil Osmanovic said on Tuesday that Croatia was unjustifiably asking citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina wishing to acquire Croatian citizenship to renounce their Bosnian citizenship, citing a 2012 agreement that allows dual citizenship.
The Ministry of Civil Affairs has so far received 1,187 applications for renunciation of the citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the purpose of acquiring Croatian citizenship. More than 200 such cases were recorded in 2018 alone, and 79 applications have been filed this year.
Osmanovic told the Faktor.ba news website that such applications were mostly filed by Bosniaks who have been living in Croatia for years.
"Under the Agreement on Dual Citizenship, Bosnia and Herzegovina has asked for the formation of a joint commission to address this problem, but Croatia has rejected it on the grounds that every citizen must be asked to renounce the citizenship of their country of origin because that is required by relevant laws, except when citizenship is acquired by a person married to a Croatian citizen, and these are primarily people of Croatian ethnicity. The same solution is provided under the Bosnia and Herzegovina Citizenship Act, but the primary purpose of the Agreement on Dual Citizenship is to prevent renunciation of the citizenship of the country of origin," Osmanovic said.
He said that Bosnia and Herzegovina consistently complied with the Agreement on Dual Citizenship and did not require Croatian citizens to renounce their citizenship when applying for the citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Osmanovic warned that Bosnia and Herzegovina might be forced to take reciprocal measures if Croatia continued this "unjustified and unnecessary" practice, adding that the two countries should continue working on promoting good-neighbourly relations.