Ivana Marić: A State Where Others Make Decisions

There are no rational answers to many questions in BiH. For example, why do BiH politicians allow, and in some cases even insist that foreigners solve the internal and external problems of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Why do politicians from Croatia, Serbia, Turkey, Russia, the USA and the EU decide on the fate of BiH? Another interesting question is why no one in the world takes BiH politicians seriously? When was the last time, BiH officials paid an official visit to a country without being invited to get scolded for reluctance? When was the last time, the presidents of other countries paid an official visit to BiH? Of course, we do not count foreign statesmen who came to BiH for private business, where they also met with members of the Presidency of BiH.

Next, why don’t BiH politicians use all legal possibilities to sanction those who don’t do their job, who boycott institutions, prevent elections, etc., but use such opportunities to collect political points in vain?

And finally, why have citizens given up institutional action and the use of legal opportunities to file criminal charges against politicians and all others who don’t do their job, who employ illegally, who set up tenders, etc.? They find justification in the attitude that it will not change anything. What would have happened if the family of Dženan Memić had given up seeking justice under the excuse that it would not change anything?

Diplomatic Slaps to Themselves

It often happens that politicians from neighbouring countries directly interfere in the internal affairs of BiH. That shouldn’t surprise us because BiH politicians allow them to go unpunished. Instead of taking advantage of diplomatic opportunities and making it clear to them that they will not tolerate such interference, BiH politicians use it exclusively for populist purposes. So, instead of officially sending a diplomatic note and threatening to end the relationship, they send informal “fierce” answers through the media. Politicians on both sides benefit from this by presenting themselves as patriots, although their actions show the exact opposite.

A similar reaction was to the recent arrest of a BiH citizen in Serbia for an allegedly committed war crime on the territory of BiH. The Chairman of the Presidency of BiH, Željko Komšić, did not use his diplomatic right, but also the obligation to invite the Ambassador of Serbia for a conversation, in order to get all the information related to that arrest. Instead, the Serbian ambassador, according to his claims, was informally invited by Komšić’s advisor for coffee, which he refused to attend due to his busy schedule. With that, Komšić again caused great damage and disgraced the state he represents. In this way, a shameful message was sent to the world that the ambassador of a country can refuse the invitation of a member of the BiH Presidency and go unpunished. If the Presidency of BiH sent an official invitation to the Ambassador of Serbia, and he refused, that would be a sufficient reason to deny him hospitality. If Komšić sent an official invitation, as he claims, why did he not publish it and why did he not ask for sanctions for the ambassador who does not respect the institutions of the host country, but instead left the case unfinished? This leads us to the conclusion that the ambassador of Serbia was telling the truth, unlike Komšić.

By such actions BiH politicians primarily shame themselves and show how incompetent they are and how they are not fit for the functions they have taken. They also shame us, the citizens because we have chosen such incompetent people to represent us both in the country, and in the world.

On the topic of BiH, decisions are made everywhere, just not in BiH

Usually in elections, citizens elect politicians who should represent their interests and who are paid to solve citizens’ problems. However, when a problem arises, politicians, even citizens, seek a solution to this problem from the international community!?! Politicians justify it with a dysfunctional system, pretending that they can do nothing and hoping that the citizens will not come to the conclusion that exactly these and such politicians created this dysfunctional system, so that they could rule for decades without any results. Citizens have chosen politicians to allegedly protect their national interests, so they are aware that these politicians are incapable of solving any specific problem. That is why it is not surprising that during her official visit to Serbia, the German Chancellor discussed Bosnia and Herzegovina at a bilateral meeting with the President of Serbia instead of with the official representatives of BiH. False promises, mutual accusations, lack of reforms, non-fulfilment of EU conditions and corruption are just some of the reasons why neither Merkel nor any other important diplomat talks to BiH officials.

Populism Instead of Institutional Action

Why didn’t anyone do anything concrete about the parliamentary parties regarding disobedience, that is, the boycott of BiH institutions by representatives from Republika Srpska? Why didn’t they do that many times before, when the representatives of different parties acted illegally and non-parliamentary? Is it possible that there is no article of law which allows such behaviour to be sanctioned? Citizens must not refuse to come to work or say that they will come but will not perform their tasks, but tolerate the same when politicians do so, who receive a monthly salary in the amount of the semi-annual average salary, for their reluctance. Parliamentary parties do not raise the issue of irresponsibility of RS officials, on the one hand, because they do not care about the state or citizens, and, on the other, because they all like the atmosphere of heated national tensions because it is a perfect platform for falsely showing who is the greatest patriot. During this time, they stuck the state in place and do not show the slightest interest in doing something to move BiH on its path to the EU.

The European Parliament has finally understood what the politicians are like in BiH, but also in this whole area. Namely, the EU has approved pre-accession assistance in the amount of 14.2 billion euros for the countries of Southeast Europe, which are on their way to membership in this community. What is new is that the EU makes receiving this financial assistance conditional on respect for European values. Thus, EU financial assistance will be suspended in countries where there is no progress in the area of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It is not difficult to assume that BiH, along with such politicians, will not receive much money from this fund.

Lawsuits Change Everything

There is a great distrust of citizens in institutions, especially in judicial institutions. However, this must not be a reason or justification for us to completely give up institutional activities and to tolerate the illegal activities of institutions, organizations and individuals without discussion. A good example of this is the annual gathering of Chetnik movements in Višegrad. Until 2019, Bosniak politicians used the gathering to self-promote and show verbal courage by sending vain threats to rally organizers and those behind them. None of them did anything concrete to put an end to it. Those whose mouths are full of BiH and patriotism have allowed such things to happen for years because the rise of national tensions keeps them in power. Had they immediately filed criminal charges against the organizers, this would certainly not have happened again from year to year. But then how would they rule, if not on the basis of conflict?

After the gathering in 2019, the Prime Minister of the Sarajevo Canton, Edin Forto, with the help of top legal experts, prepared a report against the „Ravna Gora Movement“ and sent it to the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, which confirmed the indictment. The trial against the organizers of the rally, who are charged with inciting national, racial and religious hatred, discord and intolerance, is still ongoing. The BiH Criminal Code provides for a prison sentence of between three months to three years for this crime. It is certain that the accused, as well as everyone else, will have a good idea before embarking on the planning of the next rally, because those who lead them to do so, will certainly not go to prison for them.

Civil (Dis) Obedience

Another important question is why do citizens not take advantage of the opportunities provided by law? Why don’t they submit applications due to irregularities, injustice, rigging of tenders and competitions? Is it possible that they have given up the fight or are they afraid of retaliation or is it still a matter of hoping that next time they will be the ones to set up a job, a tender or, will illegally allow them something that does not belong to them? Citizens even avoid writing a complaint about the arrogant and unprofessional behaviour of civil servants, medical workers, professors, drivers, delivery people, wardens, police officers… We do nothing and wait for things to change on their own. The situation will get worse until we realize that we are the change we expect. It will be difficult to change anything until we ourselves change and until everyone does what is in their power. Until that happens, we are left to remain silent, suffer and wait for someone else to solve our problems, just like our politicians.

Prethodna vijest

Ivana Marić: Država o kojoj drugi odlučuju

Naredna vijest

Rešid Dževdetbegović, član predsjedništva Platforme za progres i predstavnik mladih: Disciplinski postupci su postali čekaonica za odstrel, a moglo se razgovarati