Adelheid Wolfl, a journalist with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, explained why the role of European Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH is controversial. She especially criticized Milorad Dodik.
She noted that some parties had asked to determine whether Varhelyi had indeed reached a non-transparent agreement with BiH Herzegovina Presidency member and SNSD President Milorad Dodik, whom she described as an “extreme right-winger”. She described him as a politician who wants to ”destroy BiH“.
“SNSD, under Dodik’s leadership, has been threatening to withdraw Republika Srpska (RS) from state institutions since October this year. However, he has long advocated the secession of RS from BiH, a war goal from the 1990s. In the National Assembly of RS (NARS), a law has been adopted that withdraws the entity from the Medicines Agency of BiH, “Wolfl stated.
Further, she reminded that for some media in BiH, Varhelyi’s behavior is an indicator that part of, as she stated, the international community secretly supports Dodik’s secessionist intentions.
“Hungary’s role is particularly suspicious in this region,” she added.
She stressed that Hungarian diplomacy in BiH was perceived as one-sided.
She also noted that the European Commission could approve grants of 642.8 million euros to RS, but that there are those who oppose it. Tineke Strik is among those who oppose, a member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Dutch Green left-wing party. As the reason why she thinks that it is unacceptable, Strik pointed out Dodik’s secessionist plans.
“Coordination of Dodik and Varhelyi”
“Varhelyi’s commitment to Dodik is not just a problem due to financial injections. It is obvious that he is coordinating his actions with Dodik,” she underlined.
Referring to the documents, she mentioned that the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Dodik agreed on when the NARS session should be held, at which the transfer of competencies from the state to the entity government will be considered.
Wolfl assessed that Varhelyi wants to change the law banning the denial of the Srebrenica genocide and other war crimes, in away that suits Dodik. She noticed that this European Union (EU)official, who is a member of the ruling far-right party in Hungary, Fidesz, clearly blamed former High Representative (HR) Valentin Inzko for the political crisis, who imposed the law.
“Nationalists deny or minimize war crimes. But, since this law came into force, denials and glorification of war criminals have become less frequent.”
Der Standard journalist Adelheid Wolfl pointed out that “Hungary’s populist government in the Western Balkans clearly supports nationalists.” In support of this statement, she said that Hungary announced that it would not support the sanctions of the EU against Dodik.