By: Sara Bertoncelj/ Nova24tv
“I think this problem is a bit made up or it is a storm in a teacup – there are no big stories here,” said dr. Dimitrij Rupel in the show Tema dneva, adding that it is quite clear that the position wants to dramatize the situation at the moment, not only in the field of foreign policy, but also otherwise. However, the field of foreign policy is very sensitive because this is a very sensitive matter in the light of the European situation. “We know that there is an exchange of accusations between Brussels and Ljubljana, and I am afraid that someone would like to add fuel to the flames of this dramatic communication,” he commented on the recent events related to the non-existent document.
The non-paper prepared by Croatia shows that official Zagreb wants changes to the electoral legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), including the method of electing three members of the presidency. In Zagreb, they want the Croatian member of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be elected only in areas where the majority of the population is Croat. So far, all members of the federation have been able to do so. Could the fears of some that this could lead to the establishment of a third Croatian entity in Bosnia and thus perhaps also to new ethnic conflicts in the Balkans come true? In a show Tema dneva, Luka Svetina hosted dr. Dimitrij Rupel, who reminded that the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been tense for a long time, and they have not been able to solve some fundamental constitutional or political problems since 1995. “Of course, this suits many people,” he said, referring to the fact that some interpreted the words of President Borut Pahor during his visit to BiH by bringing grist to one’s mill. “In these times when fame is sung to various whistle-blowers, we should not be surprised if this happens,” he commented on the fact that information about an informal conversation between the president and members of the Bosnian presidency had come to light.
Foreign Minister dr. Anže Logar confirmed the existence of a non-paper prepared by Croatia and signed by Slovenia, Hungary, Greece, and Cyprus. It is mainly about how Bosnia could get closer to joining the EU as soon as possible. Croatia obviously also wants some changes before the parliamentary elections next year. According to Rupel, this story is not simple. Croatia would like to have a similar position in BiH as Serbia has it. Namely, it has the Republika Srpska, which even belongs to it by name. As far as Croatia is concerned, there is a certain uncertainty or ambiguity that the Croats would obviously like to change in some way. But in BiH, as well as elsewhere, they are not yet ready for these changes.
Of course, BiH should become a member of the EU sooner or later, and it would be in the EU’s interest to find a solution to regulate internal relations in BiH. In such a state as it is at the moment, it is difficult to imagine that it will become a member of the EU. Then there is Serbia, which has problems with Kosovo, Macedonia, which has problems with the Greeks and Bulgarians, and so on. An accordion of some problems opens up, and if any of these dominoes move, the rest could fall. “The EU should have its own policy here and I am afraid that it is somewhat deficient in this area,” said dr. Rupel.
Ambitions, which do not existed, are wanted to be incited to the Prime Minister
Looking back, the fact is that the EU was not able to solve the Bosnian situation, the situation was being solved by America in Dayton. It was also unable to solve the next problem in Kosovo, again the intervention of the United States and NATO was needed. “There is a window of opportunity for Europeans and also for the Slovenian presidency to try to move closer to the EU in some way, with some artificial, gentle, and careful initiatives. Without the Western Balkans, the EU is practically not whole, it is flawed and something should be done here, of course. I understand that this debate on non-paper is triggered in a special hysterical atmosphere, when some would like to make it difficult, if not impossible for Slovenia and this government from holding the EU presidency. This presidency is more unpretentious, more technical and less political than that first presidency in 2008. But nevertheless, this complication must also be seen in the light of these efforts to instil in this government, the Prime Minister, some ambition, which do not actually exist,” Rupel warned.
Rupel also reminded that some world powers, such as Russia and China, have their own interests in this area – even Croatia is building a bridge to the island of Pelješac with Chinese money. So this is a question of whether the European Union or someone else. And if it is someone else, it will not be good for either the EU or us. The host of the show also asked if Bosnia was somehow forced to live together in the existing formation – just as Yugoslavia was forced to live in the Tito’ embrace. BiH existed before, already in Austria-Hungary, so the situation is somewhat different, but in Rupel’s opinion, the problem could be solved in another way, not by dividing the territory, but by dividing power. At the moment, there is no good system of government in BiH. Macedonians divided power in 2001, when there was a conflict between the Albanian and Macedonian populations, and Rupel believes that this is the right way, that is, to find a recipe for politics to distribute power more fairly.