Željana Zovko

Objavljeno: 15.10.2018.

Željana Zovko for Dnevnik.ba: Comparison of the legality of Komšić’s and Hitler’s coming into power was met with powerful response in Brussels


15 October 2018


Željana Zovko for Dnevnik.ba: Comparison of the legality of Komšić’s and Hitler’s coming into power was met with powerful response in Brussels

Željana Zovko, the Croatian Member of the European Parliament talks in an interview to Dnevnik.ba about consequences of Željko Komšić’s election into the BiH Presidency, mistakes made by the international community in BiH, Cardinal Puljić’s position on the Komšić phenomenon, Bosniac unitarist politics and about what the Croats may do to get back their rights guaranteed by the state Constitution.

What is the perception of the BiH elections in the European Parliament?

The European Parliament has still been considering the post-election situation in BiH. They will bring to account the European External Action Service of the European Commission. I personally posed a question to the EEAS about the elections assessment without taking into account the fact that the electoral will of an entire constitutive nation was harshly neglected and turning a blind eye to deep embitterment of the Croat nation expressed in peaceful demonstrations. Many aspects are involved in this issue and now we will have to decide on how to proceed. This is actually a huge failure of the EU Delegation to BiH and of the international community, as the provisions of the European Parliament Resolutions were neglected calling for implementation of the BiH Constitutional Court Decision in the Ljubić case, adoption of the amendments to the BiH Election Law accordingly and organising the elections according to the new Law. What we got instead is a severe violation of the electoral will of the Croat nation. The current post-election situation in the country may easily bring us new problems.

Do your colleagues MEPs understand that BiH witnessed an electoral fraud and that a constitutive nation was deprived of its representative in the state Presidency?

The MEPs will understand the situation well after the debate on the Resolution on Progress of BiH. We have presented amendments to the Resolution about the electoral fraud. This issue will certainly be raised in the debate and that will be an opportunity to clearly explain what has actually happened and to consider how to proceed. However, the MEPs already understand very well that the situation in BiH is worrying, to put it mildly. BiH has the longest border with the EU. The country is exposed to influence of the third states and the situation is utterly unstable. These elections will most certainly cause concern of the MEPs.

Is the EU strong enough nowadays to exert influence on the political processes in BiH in terms of making pressure on BiH politicians to implement Decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court and of the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg?

The EU may make pressures by imposing restrictions in the accession process. The weakness of the EU is that it is the largest donor and investor in the Western Balkans countries, who has been putting efforts in improving the institutions of those countries. However, the EU is physically not strong to force the politicians to come to an agreement. What the EU may do is just to block. In that case, its people would be made hostages of bad policies. The most visible outcome of those failures is human outflow from those countries. People do not want to wait any more for the situation to normalise. That is what we have been warning about all the time. The European way is the only possible way for BiH. However, with these policies we lose people who are supposed to build the future of this country.

You have stated that the BiH elections are a failure of the EU Delegation to BiH. Can you elaborate?

The Head of the EU Delegation to BiH Lars Gunnar Wigemark was personally assuring me that there was absolutely no chance for Komšić to be elected to the BiH Presidency, that he was not expecting that and that the political relations in the country would normalise after the elections and the compromise would be reached. Furthermore, he was assuring me that the BiH Croats would not be overvoted. According to my personal opinion, this was a huge failure of their assessments and of all their activities in BiH. The activities of the international community in BiH must be seriously reconsidered, as well as all their mistakes made in last two decades. In the current situation we once again have people in the streets. We once again have a moderate religious leader as the Cardinal Puljić saying that Hitler came into power in conformity with the law too. What I am trying to say is that this is a serious warning and a serious appeal to pose ourselves a question who is doing what in BiH.

The Cardinal’s message was met with powerful response in Brussels?

It was. Actually, the Cardinal Puljić’s message had the most powerful repercussions of all other messages after the elections. The Cardinal Puljić addressed the audience of an exhibition on BiH which I organised with my colleagues Preda and Šuica. The Cardinal spoke together with reis Kavazović. They sent extremely powerful messages. The Cardinal Puljić is respected in Brussels very much for his efforts to build bridges between peoples. Therefore, this message of his was met with powerful response in Brussels. When we faced a similar situation in 2002, when the Alliance government was formed, the Cardinal Puljić and the Bishop Perić addressed the US Congress. The Cardinal said than that the Christians were systematically destroyed in BiH. That is what has been happening nowadays as well. I sincerely hope we will be strong enough to put an end to those processes.

Do the MEPs have a uniform position on the BiH elections?

They absolutely do! They showed it on the inter-parliamentary meeting in Vienna, where the opposition deputies from the Croatian Parliament expressed a uniform position on this issue.

What can the Croatian MEPs do to help the principle of nation constitutivity to be applied in BiH?

Croatia is a guarantor of the Dayton Peace Agreement and it is accountable for its border with BiH. Croatia must warn its friends from the EU about all the threats coming from BiH. This problem includes a security aspect as well and must thus be properly responded to. Croatia has powers, it is a full member of the EU and NATO. Croatia has already started working on these problems.

What is your personal opinion about Komšić’s election to the BIH Presidency?

I view his election as a defeat of common sense and of good will of the largest nation, which did not make a wise decision on which way to take. This is a tiny step for them, but a giant step for the truth about the Croats and the way they have been treated in BiH.

May we expect Europe to recognise the intentions of the Bosniac elite to turn the Federation entity into a unitarian entity with Bosniac domination?

It is up to us. I am telling this on behalf of all the Croatians I have been representing. I would like to convey a message to the BiH Croats that they have to fight for their rights by all means, including civil resistance, through media etc. We can all remember that in 1990-ies, Milošević had propaganda and media under control and was able to place misinformation. We witness again the misinformation placed by the media from Sarajevo. Foreign reporters in Sarajevo are totally deceived by the unrealistic and inaccurate image. We have to fight against the propaganda in order to enable the international public to realise that BiH Croats are deprived of their constitutional rights.

Do the MEPs believe that misinformation?

The MEPs discuss a variety of world problems all the time and actually, a few may be deceived by the tricks from Sarajevo. We have been trying hard to explain what has really been going on in BiH.

Dragan Čović, the President of HDZ BiH, has stated today that the government may not be formed without the amendments to the Election Law. Will Europe understand such a position?

It is not up to Europe at all, it is up to Čović and the Croat political, academic and cultural community, media and the Croat people of course to be persistent in their position. There is absolutely no sense to do anything in BiH without the amendments to the Election Law.


Copyright © Željana Zovko 2017. Sva prava pridržana.