French President Emmanuel Macron, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as her successor Olaf Scholz, are just some of the top European officials who have visited, for example, Serbia in the past few years, while bypassing Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the same period.
Our country, with a few honorable exceptions, is usually visited by second-rate, and we can say third-rate diplomats, party presidents, parliamentarians, committee presidents, senators, congressmen, and some ministers.
Without any intention to devalue the persons in question, considering that in a large number of cases we are talking about convinced friends of BiH, we are not talking about people who make key decisions on issues important for BiH. Most of these visits and accompanying meetings with BiH officials, not to single out individual ones, remain at the level of mere protocol and there is no concreteness in them.
To make sure there is no confusion, prime ministers, chancellors and even presidents also come to BiH, however, these are countries that – when it comes to decisions that are important for BiH, do not play a decisive role. This, for the sake of argument, can best be seen in the example of the last imposed decisions of the High Representative that passed with the “tacit” approval of the international community. And it is well-known who governs the international community.
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, the Chancellor of Austria, Karl Nehammer, as well as many others, are great friends of BiH and an important partner on economic and other issues. However, in the context of the current political events in BiH, when it comes to NATO, the Office of the High Representative (OHR), threats of secession, the struggle with Russian influence, and so on, they can’t help us much.
If we try to remember when, for example, the United States (U.S.) Secretary of State, the German Chancellor, the French President, and the like were in BiH, it will take a little more time to unroll the years behind us and find such visits.
Not having close relations with the political leaders of the countries that manage the processes in Europe, and consequently in the world, means not having a lever with which you could, if necessary, derail or brake the processes, depending on whether they are beneficial or detrimental to you.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Serbia, things are diametrically different. The highest European officials, presidents, and prime ministers visit our neighbors at regular intervals. If the statements of the president of that country, Aleksandar Vucic, are to be believed, apart from mutual visits, telephone conversations are also regular, and what is even more important is that they are productive.
Everyone has their own theory
Why this is so, everyone has their own theory – from those who claim that BiH diplomacy has failed to those who say that BiH is not “interesting” to the highest officials. However, although both of them are partially correct, none of that is the main reason that the international community put us on, let’s hope for a temporary, “ignore”.
The reason that Europe is currently focused on Serbia is – Kosovo. In recent months, it has once again come into the public spotlight as a possible source of instability in the region, and the events of this summer, when the situation with registrations and personal documents came to the brink of escalation, did not leave much room for maneuver, so the international community moved faster and better to solve this problem in the long run.
That is why, if you carefully read the reports of the meetings of Serbian and international officials, the focus is always on solving the Kosovo issue, and it is clear what that means. Vucic claims that he will not recognize Kosovo, but history shows that the international community does not waste time and resources on battles that it cannot win. It is not difficult to predict what will happen, but as the old saying goes, “you cannot sit on two chairs”.
In the meantime, until this issue is resolved, it is to be expected that assistants, deputies, and advisers will continue to visit BiH, along with some prime ministers and ministers of countries who only remember BiH when they need to raise their hand for another resolution, which ultimately only serves to “pass” decisions like the one made on election night by the high representative in BiH Christian Schmidt, Klix.ba reports.