The appointment of an ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) at the proposal of the President of the Republika Srpska (RS) is a topic that interests the public, specifically because of the constitutional provisions that entrusted foreign policy to the State Presidency. However, in the case of BiH, nothing is that simple.
The state constitution, which is superior to the entity constitution, specifically points out that foreign policy is the competence of BiH, which includes the appointment of ambassadors, in such a way that the Presidency of BiH is responsible for conducting foreign policy, appointing ambassadors and other international representatives of BiH.
Of that, a maximum of two-thirds of ambassadors can be selected from the Federation of BiH (FBiH), which also reflects the structure of the Presidency, where two out of three members are selected from the FBiH.
If it is still not possible to reach a consensus, two members of the Presidency adopt the decision, unless one of the members declares it destructive to the entity’s vital interest. Then such declaration is delivered to the authorized entity bodies.
In the case of the RS, it is the National Assembly, while in the FBiH, the Bosniak and Croat people’s caucuses in the House of Peoples of the FBiH are responsible for this.
From the smaller BiH entity, they claim that the president of the RS nominates ambassadors and other international representatives from BiH from that entity, as stated by Amendment L of the Constitution of the RS.
The draft Law on Foreign Affairs of BiH, which was never adopted, stipulates that the Presidency of BiH is competent to appoint and recall ambassadors and that entities in the field of international relations exercise their rights from the Constitution of BiH in a way that more clearly represents the authority of the state, but since we will have to wait for something like that, the question arises as to what was previously done to crystallize the difference between the entity and the state when it comes to appointing the head of the Diplomatic Consular Representative Office (DKP).
The Constitutional Court has already given its interpretation of the topic of appointing ambassadors
In its decision from 2000, based on the request of the Chairman of the BiH Presidency, Alija Izetbegovic, from 1998, the Constitutional Court of BiH pointed out that issues that are not expressly listed in the Constitution as the competence of the institutions of BiH are not necessarily the exclusive competence of the entities, but that they should be decided by the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH (PABiH).
How the proposal of the appointment of new ambassadors is now being problematized
After the list of proposals for new ambassadors of the BiH Presidency member Denis Becirovic was published, they reacted from the RS since they did not like some of the names on the list, which culminated in Cvijanovic‘s statement that Dodik was actively participating in the process.
Becirovic said that “it is not Dodik’s topic at all” because he is the entity president, Klix.ba reports.