EP envoy urges Bosnia to form government

The head of a European Parliamentary delegation visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on Wednesday called on divisive Bosnian politicians to form a government and adopt a budget for the current year, reported the Bosnian news agency Fena.

“You are not Belgium and you cannot afford that luxury,” said Doris Pack, a German politician and member of the European Parliament, to reporters here, in a clear reference to Belgium’s protracted political crisis and deadlock that has left it without a government since June, 2010.

BiH has been without a state government since national elections last year, after which no political coalition in this ethnically-fractured country has been able to form a majority. Two major blocks emerged – the main Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) political parties seeking greater centralization of the state, and Serb and Croat parties seeking to maintain autonomy.

Unlike BiH, Belgium has a functioning administration despite the political gridlock, said Pack.

Pack urged BiH politicians to recognize the desire of its citizens to continue on the path toward European integration.

The EU parliamentarian put much of the blame for the current situation on the ethnic politics of BiH, which results in a Bosniak, Serb and Croat perspective at every level.

“You must let your politicians know that politics isn’t appropriate everywhere,” said Pack. “Everything is somehow three- sided, in three parts, this division has to stop somewhere.” Pack also singled out the unsustainability of 13 ministries of education in BiH, instead of a harmonized national agency.

“Ask the politicians to change this, ask those in power to rely on common sense and make sensible decisions,” said Pack.

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