A New Dangerous Misunderstanding

It’s simply about two different views. A dangerous misunderstanding is likely to arise between them. Leading to consequences of exactly the same quality.

At the beginning of this week, on the last day of January 2017, the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs started almost a routine discussion on conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The very report on the state’s progress and its prospects of full European Union membership would be more or less repetitive and most probably accepted with no great dilemmas if it hadn’t been added a relatively general amendment on Bosnia and Herzegovina federalisation. The amendment was submitted by Croatian European deputies with a view of, as they explained, providing equality among all three nations, Bosnians, Croats and Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And right within that general and probably to most participants in the discussion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs acceptable request, which is about the right to equal opportunities and equality for all nationals, is where a dangerous misunderstanding hides. Namely, it is obvious that the very same proposal for Bosnia and Herzegovina federalism is perceived in a completely different manner in the country itself. In one part of the country it is seen as a certain guarantee of Croatian equality, while in the other just as a request for a new ethnic federalisation and a new pressure for further redrawing of the country’s boundaries.

On the 13th October 2016, the president of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, as part of one of her journeys, visited the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. During the conversation, she also informed him on the new Croatian doctrine that the international community should not and could not consider the complex and problematic relations in Bosnia and Herzegovina only with the aid of social and economic relations analysis, instead it was required to think through the political relations in the state. The President explained that she asked and invited Mr Juncker to think about such arrangement in the neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina which would provide real equality among all three nations.