Austrian journalist Nikolaus Neumaier analyzed the arrival of the new High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Christian Schmidt, and in an article published on the German television Tagesschau, he spoke about the problems and opportunities that Schmidt will face in BiH.
According to the text, the first day in the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in BiH for Christian Schmidt is a symbol of how difficult and demanding this function actually is. His predecessor, as it was emphasized in the analysis, imposed changes to the law banning the denial of the Srebrenica genocide, which provoked numerous reactions, primarily frompoliticians from Republika Srpska (RS).
“It is possible to imagine that the representative of the Serbs, the nationalist Milorad Dodik, will boycott Schmidt’s inaugural visit to the three-member presidency of the state (the text was written before the meeting in the Presidency). Some observers could even imagine that Serbian politicians wanted to launch a referendum on the secession of part of BiH – the RS entity. In any case, Serbian leader Dodik has rejected the High Representative because he has no legitimacy. The relationbetween him and Schmidt, which was not bad a few years ago, is now completely ruined. The new High Representative demonstratively avoids mentioning the name of Milorad Dodik, ” the journalist noted.
How is it expected for Schmidt to act in BiH?
In further analysis, the journalist points out that the High Representative in BiH formally has absolute powers with which he can not only pass laws but also dismiss politicians such as Milorad Dodik.
“In an interview with Bayerischer Rundfunk, Schmidt told that he is not a Bosnian ‘grand vizier’, but that he is ready to use his powers in emergencies. The German sees himself as a person supported by the international community. He is a deliberately elected politician who is ready to speak openly and to look harsh, which also seems necessary. After the war in BiH, the state proved weak compared to the BiH entity, and it looks likethat the options for division are still not ruled out,” it was said.
Schmidt’s goal – to prepare negotiations for the accession to the European Union (EU)
According to the analysis, the new High Representative has a clear goal, which is to make BiH more stable and mature for the start of the accession negotiations with the EU. However, it was pointed out that there are still problems with the constitution, voting rights, and the unequal status of all residents in state-building.
“Members of the Jewish community or Roma are always mentioned as examples. In principle, no one who is not assigned to one of the three ethnic groups can be elected to positions. Furthermore, an effective fight against widespread corruption is needed. It will not be an easy task. The country is currently in danger of becoming functionally incompetent. In BiH, due to regulation and tensions, there are dozens of areas in which there are more than 130 ministries and ministers who link influence and benefit in these positions. It is one of the reasons why the younger generation does not see the perspective in this country. More than 70 percent of them are sitting with their suitcases packed and want to leave the country,” it was emphasized in the text, Klix.ba writes.