BANJA LUKA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
Following meetings with top Serb Republic leaders, a delegation of Western European politicians has backed calls for the republic's independence if the High Representative and other foreign officials continue to abrogate the provisions of the 1995 Dayton Agreement which ended the Bosnian War.
The five-member group, invited by the Balkans Geopolitical Center to review preparations for Bosnia's Oct. 7 elections, told a Friday news conference in Republika Srpska's capital Banja Luka that they believed Bosnia-Herzegovina was "undemocratic" and "deeply dysfunctional" and that increasingly the only solution was secession if that was the will of Serb Republic citizens.
Johannes Hübner, a former Freedom Party deputy of the Austrian Parliament, emphasised the need to respect the Dayton peace agreement. He said the European Union claims democracy as one of its core values, and that it should therefore respect what the people seek - and not what some international representatives want. According to Hübner, if the EU respected the will of all constituent parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it would be possible to quickly reach a lasting solution. On the other hand, he warned, if the EU continues to push for a more centralized state - as, he said, the Office of the High Representative has done for years - then nothing will change in the next quarter-century.
Frank Creyelman, Flemish Alliance politician and Honorary Senator from Belgium, declared his sympathy with the desire of the Serb people to get out of what he termed "the monstrosity known as Bosnia-Herzegovina." He compared the situation of Serbs in Bosnia with that of the Flemish in Belgium, which he described as another "artificial country". He said the rest of Europe owes the Serb Republic credit for acting as a block to illegal Arab migrants, attracted by the Bosniak Muslim majority in Bosnia.
Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti, who heads the Slovenian National Party in his country's parliament, said the constitutional framework agreed in Dayton had been continuously compromised by foreign meddling, resulting in the abrogation of 90 percent of the guaranteed rights of the Republika Srpska. He cited the constitutional court, composed of two Serbs, two Croats, two Muslim Bosniaks and three foreigners - with the result that the Muslims always have a majority.
Italian Senator Antonio Razzi expressed his regret that the slogan "live and let live" is not being applied to Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the Serbs are denied the right to self-determination. His compatriot Luca Bellotti, former undersecretary for agriculture in the last Berlusconi government, said he believes the Serbs should be treated as a partner by the EU, and not as a party to be pressured. Following their meetings with Serb Republic President Milorad Dodik and other top officials, both expressed the hope that they will be successful in the forthcoming election.
SOURCE Balkans Geopolitical Center NGO