Recent negotiations between Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Muslim representatives failed to produce results on much needed election law reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Constitutional Court has long since ruled that the election needs to be amended as it is unconstitutional. However, the Bosnian Muslim side refuses to agree to fair and equal representation for Bosnian Croats.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Foreign Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman received the European Union's Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, in Zagreb on Monday. Along with Prime Minister Plenković arguing for the need to speed up the process of opening EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, their talks also focused on the October elections in neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina.
"Without election reforms, the upcoming elections, based on the existing legislation, would be illegitimate and would represent a continuation of election gerrymandering to the detriment of Croats. In that regard, Croatia, with its experience and know-how, is at the disposal of the European Commission and all other EU institutions," Minister Grlić Radman said after their meeting.
For his part Commissioner Varhelyi said that the elections must be held in October: "We will have to have elections in October, but we have to ensure, together with our Bosnian friends, that these elections are free, these elections are fair, and that these elections will lead us to an equal representation of all three constitutive peoples."
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković today also commented on how Sunday’s election in Slovenia, in which the Freedom Movement Party ousted the incumbent Social Democrats, could affect Croatia's accession to the Eurozone and Schengen Area: "With regard to the Eurozone and the Schengen Area, Croatia expects an EU level decision by the middle of this year. We have met the criteria, and we deserve this. It would not be good if some kind of change to the political situation in Slovenia brought about a change in these positions."
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