High Representative of the International Community to BiH Valentin Inzko, in an interview for Austrian Standard, said that there are already discussions in the European Parliament on suspending BiH from the Council of Ministers.
Al Jazeera announced that Inzko said that the international community ‘has to think of a new strategy’ in order to encourage BiH politicians who are in power to fulfill the requests of BiH citizens, of which ’80 percent and more want EU membership”.
Inzko said that currently there is no decision on a new strategy, as there are informal proposals, and it is necessary to have ‘’better coordination of the international financiers’’. “In agriculture, for example, the first payment has already been suspended. There is also talk that the reception of politicians be only at the lowest level. Thus, if some minister comes to an EU country, he would only be awaited by the head of a sector. In discussions in the European Parliament, they are already mentioning suspending BiH from the Council of Europe’’.
Asked whether there are some additional options, the High Representative said: “The deadlines should not be extended’’.
‘’We do not always have to run to politicians. There is also the thought to remove duty bearers, to use the Bonn powers here again. This is something that is slowly developing, but concrete decisions have not been brought yet. Of course, I’d be able to reach a decision on my own, but it is better if I am supported by the international board of 12 states’’, said Inzko.
Inzko said he was surprised at the insensitivity of politicians to the protests of citizens regarding the lack of adoption of a law on the unique master citizen number (JMBG), but also that he expected the protests earlier. “There are politicians who think that the protests achieved nothing and that they are losing time. They should think of things differently’’.
“I think that the people who protested have resolved their fears. They feel free. I spoke with those people, and on the long night when I spoke with them in order to end the blockade of the Parliament. These are urban people, young, educated people, as well as older people, who are simply fed up. The protests are peaceful. This is good for the image of BiH. In this country there was a lot of bloodshed, around 100.000 dead. July 11 is approaching, the day of remembrance in Srebrenica, when hundreds more will be buried. People have had enough of these political games, and they have made it known’’, said Inzko.
The High Representative said that in the international community there are new approaches, but also “outrageous frustration’’ when it comes to BiH, and that he has thought of the use of “Bonn Powers”.
“I have thought of it, but the philosophy of the international community is currently such that local processes are given an advantage. The war in BiH finished 18 years ago. It is time for BiH to begin to take more responsibility. Due to this, the local process has an advantage. But if this comes to no avail, then we could consider the use of the Bonn Powers”.
“If I said earlier that the frustration has never been higher, then this means that the willingness for the use of Bonn Powers is higher than ever-but nothing has been decided yet’’.
He added that he believes the current leadership of the BiH leadership would bring the country closer to EU membership only if there are radical changes.
Inzko once again commented on the protests for a permanent law on the JMGB.
“I also want that. Whether this is realistic, I do not know. Currently, there is a temporary solution until December. Until now, a JMFB could be issued. However, protestors want a permanent solution-and they will certainly not give up. The protestors are nice people who only want to use their democratic rights. Democracy does not only occur every four years, and people here realize that. Unfortunately, only politicians have not realized it’’, said Inzko.