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The Government of Republika Srpska will not take part in the bodies of the coordination mechanism since it has not taken part in its creation either and everyone knows that it was adopted in a deceitful manner, kept in secrecy for 15 days, without calling any meeting that would deal with suggestions, comments or views from all levels of government, says Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic.“The views from the office of the Srpska prime minister were submitted to the offices of both Dragan Covic and Denis Zvizdic as a preparation for the meeting, but were ignored, and no meeting was called, even though it had been agreed so. The decision was simply published,” the press office of the Srpska prime minister said in a press release regarding a statement by BiH Presidency member Mladen Ivanic.
The Srpska prime minister said in her comments that the Government would not take part in the bodies of the coordination mechanism until the latter was fixed, because the Government had already decided so, and that the National Assembly would make the same decision. She added that it was the problem of the actors at the BiH state level for not taking into account the views of the Srpska institutions.
“It is no longer our problem. We will participate when they fix what they created in a secret and wrong manner, and the corrections must be done in consultations with us and only with the participation of our institutions, not by the Council of Ministers taking initiative on its own. Simply because the institutions at the BiH state level cannot make decisions that define the position and participation of the Srpska institutions, only the Srpska institutions can do that. Hence, the institutions at the BiH state level are not superior to us in any aspect, and that thing is clear,” said Cvijanovic.
The BiH institutions, in her opinion, cannot decide on what is relevant and what isn’t of what the Srpska Government submitted in its comments, nor decide on what is supported with good arguments or not.
“We, the Government of Republika Srpska, have procedures and respect them. We only consider valid those decisions that were made by us and approved by us. I can only say to Ivanic and others from Republika Srpska sitting in the BiH joint institutions this: it is your problem that you were not informed by the office of Dragan Covic, nor the office of Denis Zvizdic that they had received the comments,” emphasised Cvijanovic.
She explained that the problem was also if they were indeed informed but ignored the information.
“The problem is also if they told them that we had discussed concrete solutions, because we had not, at any meeting. Unfortunately, the problem is also that after we had submitted the comments, no meeting was organised to define the final version that would be accepted by all levels of government. Instead, the decision was simply put out for publication,” said the prime minister.
She said: “If they can do it by themselves, they should fill out the questionnaires and try to formulate their joint positions without the participation of Srpska institutions. They may adopt the rules of procedure of those working bodies on their own if they can, and they may, if they can, go and present the positions of the Srpska institutions on their own, without having received the official stance, and if they can, they may substitute through the presence of the deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers, who is a Serb, 70 percent of institutional competences that Republika Srpska has for the implementation of European obligations.
“I say they won’t be able to do that and will hit the wall when they make the first step. You do all that on your own, if you can, and we will only ask to check if what you do is constitutional and legal and why you impose ready-made solutions to the Srpska institutions, while it does not say anywhere in the Constitution or in any law that you have the right to do that,” added Cvijanovic.
It is the Srpska Government’s duty to protect the Srpska institutions from such behaviour, she said.
“Therefore, we will not participate until the people sitting in the BiH joint institutions learn to respect the views of the Srpska institutions. The decision must be fixed and that can only happen with our participation, which means they cannot act alone. By the way, I’d like to say that those people in the BiH joint institutions do not underestimate the Europeans too much either. When they do not say that in public, they themselves are clear with the fact that without us, you at the BiH state level will not be able to do anything on your own. You go ahead and try, if you disagree,” said the PM.
The Government accepted the statement by the BiH Presidency, she said, when the comments of the Srpska institutions were acknowledged, and it accepted the Reform Agenda too, through talks and negotiations of representatives of all levels of government, she said.
Cvijanovic went on to say that if the Government had only adopted what the BiH level accepted, the Reform Agenda would still contain the obligation “to privatise Elektroprivreda (Transco) and agree to do all that other nonsense that they agreed to.”
The same will happen with the coordination mechanism, she said. They will accept it when, with the Srpska Government participation, not with their good will to acknowledge something, the grotesqueness that the Council of Ministers defined on its own initiative is changed. Until then, not a single civil servant, not a single minister, nor the prime minister will take part.
“Unfortunately, there is no talking to you any other way. You don’t understand the language of institutional communication so I have to tell you all this in this way. You use the BiH joint institutions for your own political disagreements, and that is obvious at every turn, while we safeguard our institutions of Republika Srpska. We absolutely don’t intend, like you and your party colleagues like to say ‘to shout a little and then accept everything’,” said Cvijanovic.
To the members of the Party of Democratic Progress who claim that there will not be a session of the National Assembly that will discuss the coordination mechanism, Cvijanovic said that they are not well informed.
“That matter will be discussed in mid March. Before that, the text will be institutionally harmonised. The conclusions of the National Assembly will depend on the results of the harmonisation, and both versions have already been prepared. I’m sorry that the PDP has not been informed yet again, at least at the BiH state level, as they have decided not to communicate with Srpska institutions,” added Cvijanovic.