EU Envoy Urges Bosnian Serbs To End Impasse

Ahead of a meeting in Sarajevo on Wednesday, Peter Sorensen pleads with Bosnia’s leaders to let people ‘have an ordinary life’.

In a move to nudge Bosnia’s quarreling leaders in the direction of forming a central government, Peter Sorensen, the EU’s Special Representative to Bosnia, met the Bosnian Serb leader, Milorad Dodik, on Tuesday in Banja Luka.

Bosnia has been without a central government for more than a year now as Serb, Croat and Bosniak [Muslim] parties feud over the division of posts in the Council of Ministers, the executive arm of the state government.

Dodik, president of the smaller of the country’s two autonomous entities, the Serb-run Republika Srpska, is demanding four posts including the foreign ministry as the price of unblocking the political logjam that is imperiling the country’s EU hopes.

A fresh meeting of leaders of six major political parties is expected on Wednesday in Sarajevo, where Sorensen will again try to knock heads together and find a formula to unblock the current impasse.

In their public communiqués Sorensen and Dodik both expressed hopes that Bosnia would soon have a new government, which would then open the way for further Euro-Atlantic integration.

“I repeated that the EU is fully committed to the integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a sovereign and united country in the EU and it is therefore necessary to form a government as soon as possible at state level,” Sorensen said, adding that the job could only be done by local leaders.

“I expect Bosnian politicians who have received the trust of citizens in elections to justify and demonstrate that they are willing to find ways for people in this country to have a normal life,” he added.

Dodik repeated his well-known stand, which is that he favours the formation of a state government immediately – but only as long as his demands for the post ministries are met.

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