Bosnia: New Presidency members agree on EU path as priority

NEWS 20.11.2018 15:39

European Union candidate status and closing the Office of the High Representatives are Bosnia's priorities, said new Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina's state Presidency, Milorad Dodik, after he took the oath of office together with other two Presidency members on Tuesday.

“Me and my colleagues will ask at the first session that the EU and its structures approve the candidate status for Bosnia and Herzegovina as soon as possible. We want to see the commitment of Europe too,” said Dodik, who will be at the helm of the rotating tripartite Presidency for the next eight months.

Bosnia’s state Presidency consists of three members, each representing three major groups in the country – the Bosniaks, the Serbs and the Croats. The Bosniak and Croat members are elected in the Federation (FBiH) entity, while voters in Republika Srpska (RS) entity elect the Serb member.

Dodik, who represents Serbs in the Presidency, said his policy would be based on the respect for the Constitution and in line with the Dayton Agreement, a peace treaty which ended the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and set up the constitutional system in the country. Implementation of civilian part of this document is overseen by the international community’s High Representative, whom Dodik wants to leave.

“The solutions from 15 years ago were maybe adequate then, but today they’re not. I will advocate the abolition of the High Representative as soon as possible,” Dodik said at the inaugural ceremony and in his first address after assuming the office.

Croat Presidency member, Zeljko Komsic, saidd the future of Bosnia was in the EU and NATO memberships.

“Those are the guarantors to the security and prosperity of our country and its citizens,” he said, emphasising that he will not miss seizing a chance that may emerge through the activation of the NATO Membership Action Plan.

The EU and the NATO integration, as well as a reintegration within the country, were pointed out as priorities by Bosniak Presidency member, Sefik Dzaferovic, too.

“We must not unnecessarily waste our time but solve problems. If we keep a civilised dialogue and strive to an agreement on crucial matters, we’ll be in a situation to work on reintegration of the country, he concluded.

Dodik is the Presidency member who won the most votes in the run for the Presidency in the October 7 general election, 368,210. The next in line is Komsic with 225,000 votes and Dzaferovic who got 212,581 votes.

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