Zovko: “ICG concludes that the three constituent communities in BiH are mixed and that a solution should be found along these lines”
Brussels, 2 December,
The inter-parliamentary conference on foreign affairs, with members of the European Parliament and national parliaments and of EU aspirant countries, organised a lessons learned session on the 25th anniversary of the Dayton-Paris Accords: “Western Balkans: 25 years after the Dayton agreements”. The conclusion of this treaty in Dayton, Ohio, and its signature on 14 December 1995 in Paris, ended the war in the Western Balkans and led to the composition of the federal state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
During the session, members discussed the prospects of reconciliation, democratic transformation, and economic development across the Western Balkans with Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and Miroslav Lajčák, EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and the Western Balkans, and Marko Prelec, International Crisis Group (ICG) former project director for the region. High Representative Josep Borrell addressed the meeting in a pre-recorded video.
Vice-Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Željana Zovko welcomed the event and emphasised the importance to use this momentum to move beyond Dayton and to work together with Bosnia and Herzegovina and the other countries in the region towards European membership.
In her intervention, Zovko praised the work of the ICG with its 2014 report on Bosnia and Herzegovina. She recommended the study to everyone who deals with the country, as its conclusions are still relevant today. Zovko concurred with Dr. Prelec that the primary focus of the Commission policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina on economic reforms is putting the “cart before the horse” and is overlooking a more crucial constitutional and structural reform.
Zovko also noted that Dr. Prelec is proposing a “territorial federal” solution for the country, focused on the three largest and historically established communities, and asked whether he sees it as something equivalent to the EP resolutions calling for federal solutions., and whether such territorial federal solutions already exist in European states.
Dr. Prelec also said that the country’s three historical communities are “all mixed,” and Zovko asked what this idea would mean in terms of a future constitutional setup. “The mainstream thinking is that only the Bosniak community is mixed or multiethnic, but my experience is that all three are.”