Weber: The Dangerous Mission of Palmer and Eichhorst

Bodo Weber, an analyst, political scientist, and associate at the Council for the Democratization of Politics in Berlin considers negotiations on changes to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) Election Law under the auspices of the United States (U.S.)Special Envoy for Electoral Reform in BiH Matthew Palmer and the European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Angelina Eichhorst “dangerous” and claims that “they don’t have the support of the whole EU”. In an interview, Weber claims that these negotiations only encouraged nationalist leaders to go even further with their demands and that Palmer and Eichhorst follow the logic that “we will have to give as much as possible to nationalist leaders so they would give up the open overthrow of BiH.”

“We have been seeing for a few months that this truly private, dangerous mission of these negotiators is being complicated, through various counter-pressures or counter-resistances from different civil society organizations, from the West, from various representatives, from MEPs and others. It seems that the more these negotiators get to know the situation, the more they intensify their dangerous campaign, “ Weber noted.

He reminded that Palmer and Eichhorst canceled their visit in December, citing announcements by various parties that they would withdraw from the talks, practically on the day of arrival or the day before arrival, when it was not known whether any parties would, including the SDA, would withdraw from those negotiations.

“It seems that they have tracked the situation and are now trying again. On the other hand, they were dangerous because the EUas a whole is not behind these negotiations and they are not doing what we thought was the essence and spirit of the Biden administration, so these dangerous signals encourage local leaders to go even further in pursuing their nationalist agendas.As soon as the situation was radicalized by moves taken by Mr. Dodik and the Republika Srpska (RS) leadership, we saw that only Mr. Sattler negotiated at first, so Mr. Palmer and finally Ms. Eichhorst came to help the negotiations, “ Weber told.

Also, Weber explained that in the end, Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi appeared in Sarajevo and that the report of the head of the EU Delegation to BiH, Johann Sattler, for which, he said, leaked to the public, showed where these negotiations were going.

“The negotiators followed that logic, that we will have to give as much as possible to the nationalist leaders in order for them to give up the open demolition of BiH. It seems that they think to try to reach an agreement by force at all costs. Based on this Sattler report, it is clear that no agreement would be reached and that Mr. Dodik would achieve his threat of secession or so-called transfer of competencies. Such a package of agreements, announced by Commissioner Varheylji, would practically mean the same thing, only it would go a little slower,stressed Weber.

Weber also claims that Sattler did not sit with the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee for a year and exchanged views on the Western Balkans.


Source: BHRT

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