The new High Representative (HR), Christian Schmidt, has provoked strong reactions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) since his last appearance. Namely, at the symposium on the Euro-Atlantic perspective of our country, which was held in Germany, he said that Croats were not adequately represented in the institutions and that Komsic was elected by Bosniaks. Not a word about the blockade of the state.
It is September already, and BiH has not yet adopted the budget. State institutions do not work. Despite changes to the Criminal Code, genocide continues to be denied. All that is directed by Milorad Dodik. He does not even recognize the HR, insults him, and compares German policy with the Third Reich. The last in a row, because of him, he did not want to attend the most important foreign policy forum. Dodik announced all this more than a month ago: “The National Assembly has said very clearly that the one who presents himself as the HR is illegal, illegitimate, and that we will not cooperate with him and that his decisions will not be applied.”
Apart from the messages that citizens must not suffer blockades, none of this provoked a specific reaction from Christian Schmidt. He is working on changes to the Election Law and the announcement of a boycott of next year’s general elections instead of dealing with the current political situation. At a conference in Germany, he noted that Zeljko Komsic was the Croatian representative in the Presidency of BiH, but he was more elected by Bosniaks, and therefore changes to the election law are necessary. It is a fact that the election law needs to be changed, but did Schmidt say by this that he was in favor of the HDZ’s election law?
“Neither he nor Germany, which he represents in some way, are fans of that model. He said only that everyone must feel represented in the representative and executive bodies of BiH, thus he said that BiH must function as a single functional state and that it can not be highly centralized but must be decentralized, ” explained the political scientist and political analyst, Davor Gjenero.
Although BiH is already decentralized, Schmidt stated at the conference that Croats are not sufficiently represented in institutions in BiH. His predecessor also dealt with this issue, but in a slightly different context.
“Let’s make a catalog of everything that Croats have de facto, how many ministers there are at the cantonal level, what are the constitutions, let’s go to the federal level to see how many ministers there are there, do they have a lot of finance ministers, justice ministers… and then the state level, to see who manages indirect taxation, what percentage of ministers they have…” said Valentin Inzko (December 5th, 2018).
The new HR has been announced as an expert on the situation in the Balkans and BiH. The interlocutors think that these messages are not the result of serious analyzes, but of lack of information, Federalna writes.
“I believe we should give Schmidt 100 days as we give each new government so he could get better information and a better picture. I think that this is not the correct information he gives and that it is enough just to look at the representation of the HDZ in the homes of the people and the federal and state parliament, so it would be clear to him that Croats are even overrepresented, more precisely HDZ,” told political analyst Ivana Maric.
Can Christian Schmidt’s statements be read as his future course of action, or is it all just an attempt to balance and justify the role of a “Croatian friend”? Germany is clearly demanding amendments to the election law according to the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. One thing is for sure – much is expected of Schmidt, and the question is whose expectations will he meet?