SARAJEVO, MAY 15 (ONASA-Hina) – Bosnia and Herzegovina should receive at least one billion euros for development projects through the European Union’s Growth Plan, but for now there is nothing because the authorities of Republika Srpska refuse to accept a package of 113 implementing measures and therefore because they do not want BiH to get a unique number for emergency phone calls.
This was confirmed by the Prime Minister of the RS, Radovan Višković, who said that in that entity they do not want a single call center for emergency calls in Sarajevo, even though this is the practice in all states.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only country in Europe where there is no unique number that can be called in case of emergency, because the RS is persistently opposed to this, insisting that each entity regulates it for itself and claiming that otherwise the constitutional structure of the state would be violated.
“Isn’t our proposal logical to have two call centers, one in the RS and the other in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Višković said, as quoted by the Banja Luka-based “Nezavisne Novine” on Wednesday.
Leaders of the political parties that make up the government at the state level in BiH met in Sarajevo on Monday, without results, to try to unblock the process of passing reform laws insisted on by the European Union, as well as the passing of the budget for this year. All this is the assumption that the European Commission will allow the allocation of funds secured for the countries of the Western Balkans through a project called the Growth Plan.
The entire package is worth six billion euros, and these funds would be allocated through specific projects approved by the EU authorities.
It is estimated that BiH could receive at least one billion euros in grants in this way.
These funds should ensure stronger economic growth, strengthen the rule of law, and make various institutions more functional, as well as strengthen the business climate and preserve human resources in BiH. The reforms are simultaneously aimed at creating conditions for ensuring ‘green’ energy, digital transition and better IT infrastructure, including improving cyber security.
At the BiH Council of Ministers on April 30, it was established that there was agreement on 110 implementing measures necessary for the approval of projects that would be financed through the Growth Plan, while three measures remained unagreed due to blockades from Republika Srpska.
In addition to the fact that they do not want a single emergency call center to be established in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as confirmed by Višković, RS officials also refuse to abolish the possibility of entity veto on decisions on the allocation of aid from state funds, and they do not want to allow the Constitutional Court to be filled either. Bosnia and Herzegovina is asking for new judges and ultimately its reorganization.
The authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina hoped that in Brussels they would again “see through their fingers” and accept a package of implementation measures without the three disputed points, and the Prime Minister of the RS reduced it to a calculation according to which they could receive 95 percent of the billion euros because in that percent met the requirements of the European Commission. So far, the EU has not shown the slightest understanding for such a calculation by politicians in Banja Luka, so it seems that the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be left without that money for the time being.
“They informed us that they cannot go below these three non-harmonized measures and that this is a red line and a condition for the Growth Plan and EU BiH aid. That’s why I said if this is a condition, there is no need for further talks,” concluded Višković. (end)