We fully support High Representative Lajcak and his efforts to improve the functioning of state institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The measures he took on 19 October are designed to improve the Council of Ministers’ ability to take decisions and will make it harder for representatives to obstruct the working of Parliament through absenteeism. The measures are fully in line with the constitution and do not target any constituent people. We are urging political representatives from all sides in BiH to accept Lajcak’s measures.
The Peace Implementation Council (PIC) steering board meeting of 30-31 October expressed concern over the continued deterioration of the political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It judged that responsibility lay with political leaders from both entities who have blocked progress and undermined the political situation with their aggressive rhetoric. The statement expressed full support for completing implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, including efforts to tackle the evident dysfunctionality of state institutions. We were disappointed that Russia chose to dissent over one paragraph, but overall we judge the PIC conclusions to be a strong signal of support for High Representative Lajcak.
We have been in close contact with our EU and US counterparts over the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), including through the Contact Group, the EU and the Peace Implementation Council (PIC). Members of all of these groups share our concern over the deteriorating political situation in BiH and the failure of the country’s leaders to make progress on key reforms. This concern was underlined in the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council conclusions of 15 October and the PIC statement of 30-31 October. We continue to stay in regular contact with relevant international actors including our EU and US partners.