Schmidt: My powers remain the same, anti-Dayton moves would not go without consequences

SARAJEVO, June 20 (FENA) – After the two-day session of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC SB) in Sarajevo, High Representative Christian Schmidt, addressed the press and emphasized the importance of cooperation between the High Representative and PIC member countries and the European Union.

”Cooperation is necessary and mutual support is needed now more than ever. I do not want to underestimate the decision of the European Council, that is, the invitation to BiH to become a member of the European Union. On this path, we have many challenges but also approaches that are not constructive in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is a need for political stability and assurance from the international community that this stability is maintained. I would like to thank the international community for its unanimous support and my mandate continues to be implemented as it is,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt once again emphasized that he will not tolerate the policy implemented against Dayton, rejecting the policy of the Republika Srpska that does not recognize the high representative.

”The RS authorities must respect the Dayton Agreement and actively cooperate with the high representative. This is an obligation that exists based on the Dayton Agreement, and we will pay more attention to how it is fulfilled in the coming period,” said the High Representative.

He added that BiH is a country with a multi-ethnic character and it is necessary to protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and structure of BiH as agreed in the Dayton Agreement.

Speaking about the “peaceful disassociation” announced by the RS authorities, Schmidt said that the attitude has not changed, but that the instruments have changed.

”If such a situation were to happen that, for example, you had a commission that would be appointed for disassociation, I would have a clear position. If they were to write a document that contained anything that would affect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, then they should deal with it in a different way than before. It’s not the attitude that has changed, but the way of acting. Everyone who deals with these policies should explain to the citizens the damage they would cause,” said the High Representative.

He says that such moves would not go without consequences and that this is a “dangerous game”. He also commented on the views of politicians from Republika Srpska who say that the activities of the high representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina are not legitimate.

”When (Milorad) Dodik shows such a narrative that the high representative is not legitimate, something in that statement is not right. The message for him is to understand that we are not on the same level when we talk about political conditions and my position. This situation is not helping anyone. I doubt that the citizens anywhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina want disassociation. It would be better to talk to the people, not the politicians. We are here to live together. If you don’t want to live next to your neighbors, you will never become a member of the EU,” added Schmidt.

Schmidt emphasized the importance of the upcoming Local Elections, which will be held on October 6, expressing his satisfaction that all political parties have registered for the elections under the new rules.

He also emphasized the need for greater involvement of civil society, and citizens, in the decision-making process, referring to cases before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, such as the Sejdić-Finci case and others that have not yet been implemented.