The House of Representatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Parliamentary Assembly adopted a non-binding declaration on Wednesday on the Pelješac bridge that seeks a halt to the Croatian project until open issues with Croatia regarding the border at sea have been resolved.
Of 39 representatives that were present at the session of the House of Representatives, 27 voted in favor of the declaration, which is not binding in nature, 11 were against and the rest were sustained. This was the final result of the debate which began last week and ended at Wednesday’s session.
The necessary, so called, entity majority from the Republic of Srpska was secured during the voting by representatives from the Serbian Democratic Party, after their proposal was adopted by which other demands for quicker realization of other infrastructure projects, such as the bridge over the Sava river and a reopening of the Una railway line, were included.
The declaration on the Pelješac bridge was proposed in parliament by the Bosnian Democratic Action Party and was supported earlier with the signatures of 24 representatives, including those from opposition parties. Among other things, in the declaration it states that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a maritime state and as such it has the right to free and unhindered access to the open sea, claiming that the construction of the Pelješac bridge would bring this right into question.
The representatives demanded of Croatia, but also the European Union to “Without delay halt all works” that could bring into question the sovereign rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina at sea. Croatia and the EU are called upon to begin urgent negotiations aimed at resolving the issue of the border at sea. A paragraph from the original proposed text was omitted that demanded of governing authorities to withdraw from the Agreement on the Border signed in 1999 and to submit a request for international arbitration if within two months a bilateral agreement is not reached on disputed issues.
The declaration should be published in the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Gazette, however it seems that it will have no concrete effect, because according to the House of Representatives Speaker Borjana Krišto, it is only a document that expresses an opinion, while standpoints of state parliament only become binding once they have been adopted by both houses.
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