Our initiative is the reason why the topic of Croats in Bosnia is on the EU agenda

Photo /Vijesti/2022/06 lipanj/9 lipnja/VRH_1468 (1) (1).jpg

The resolution which Bosnian political party leaders adopted in Brussels on Sunday is "very good for Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday, adding that he understands why the head of the Bosnian Croat HDZ party, Dragan Čović, did not attend that meeting.

After meeting with European Council President Charles Michel, the leaders of 12 Bosniak and Bosnian Serb parties on Sunday agreed a document entitled "Political agreement on principles for ensuring a functional Bosnia and Herzegovina that advances on the European path".

Plenković said that the resolution is "very good for Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina" because it makes explicit reference to Croats as a constituent people and says that the reform of electoral legislation should be addressed urgently.

"That did not happen because it occurred to someone by chance but because someone worked for that to happen," Plenković said, stressing that the meeting with Michel was the result of the Croatian government's initiative.

The Croatian prime minister briefly met with the European Council president at the SEECP summit in Thessaloniki on Friday, two days before the meeting of Bosnian political leaders with Michel on Sunday.

The head of the Bosnian Croat HDZ party, Dragan Čović, arrived in Brussels on Sunday but refused to attend the meeting. He said he would support the final document provided that it was amended by adding two sentences concerning the 1 October 2013 agreement on the implementation of the rulings by the European Court of Human Rights and the political  agreement on amending the electoral law, signed in Mostar on 17 June 2020.

Plenković said he fully understands Čović's refusal to attend the meeting which involved the nominal Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Željko Komšić, who was elected by a majority of Bosniak votes.

Plenković noted that Komšić had never officially visited Croatia or met with Croatian government officials, nor had they visited him in Sarajevo. "This is an obstacle to us, just as it is to Čović," he said, adding that Komšić has no problem sitting on the Presidency as the Croat representative even though he is not working in the interests of the Croats.

Plenković rejected the claim by President Zoran Milanović that he was offended by Čović's move in Brussels and that he would take revenge. The prime minister said that the president was doing this "out of sheer malice" towards the HDZ party in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and that his only aim was to sow division.

"He doesn't care about Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and only wants to do harm to the HDZ," Plenković said, reiterating that Milanović had never said a word about the status of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina when he had served as prime minister, that he had participated in Komšić's election rally and that he had still not talked about Bosnia and Herzegovina with anyone relevant.

Text: Hina