Wednesday, 29 September 2021

President Zoran Milanović and Izetbegović Discuss Relationship Between Croatia and Bosnia

ZAGREB, 29 Sept, 2021 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović spoke with the leader of the Democratic Action Party (SDA) of Bosnia andHerzegovina, Bakir Izetbegović, on Tuesday about the relationship between the Bosniaks and Croats, the President's Office said in a press release.

They discussed the relationship between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, notably the relationship between the Bosniaks and Croats and the need to improve it in accordance with the Dayton agreement, the press release said.

Izetbegović also serves as Chairman of the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

FM Grlić Radman Discusses Situation in Bosnia With Čović and Zovko

ZAGREB, 8 Sept, 2021 - Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, on Wednesday discussed the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the leader of the HDZ BiH party, Dragan Čović, and the vice-chair of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Željana Zovko, the ministry said in a statement.

The meeting focused on the reform of Bosnia and Herzegovina's electoral legislation "to ensure the quality and legitimate political representation of the Croats", the steps that need to be taken by Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path towards European Union membership and how Croatia can help it in that regard.

Čović spoke of the current political situation and ethnic relations in his country and challenges to the achievement of legitimate rights for the Croats, while Zovko presented the European Parliament's activities concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina and the rest of southeast Europe.

Grlić Radman reiterated that Bosnia and Herzegovina has the support of Croatia and his ministry in political demands for the legitimate representation of the Croats "so that Bosnia and Herzegovina would be functioning, stable and prosperous and would achieve its Euroatlantic ambitions more easily."

They all agreed that amendments to the election law would contribute to the stability and functioning of Bosnia and Herzegovina and increase trust between the three constituent peoples and all other citizens in the country, the statement said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Bosnian Prosecutors Opposed to Former Dinamo Coach Zoran Mamić's Extradition

ZAGREB, 24 Aug, 2021 - Prosecutorial authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and former football coach Zoran Mamić's attorneys said  on Tuesday that they were opposed to his extradition to Croatia, claiming that the legal requirements for his extradition had not been met.

Mamić's attorney Zdravko Rajić and Davor Martinović presented their arguments why Mamić should not be handed over to Croatia.

Croatia's judiciary has requested Mamić's extradition on three grounds: to conduct his retrial based on a Supreme Court ruling quashing a part of the relevant verdict handed down by Osijek County Court ruling, to get him serve a sentence of four years and eight months based on a final ruling; and for the purpose of an investigation into the bribing of three Osijek judges who were in charge of the cases against Zoran Mamić and his brother, former football mogul Zdravko Mamić.

Mamić's attorneys claimed that these were no grounds for extradition.

His attorneys claim that the entire court proceedings against Mamić in Osijek are deeply contaminated because the judges in the proceedings are currently being investigated for graft.

Martinović claimed further that the decision for the imprisonment of the Mamić brothers was still not final because they had not yet submitted an appeal against that decision.

On 12 August the Bosnian court deliberated a separate extradition request for Zdravko Mamić, however, a decision has not been delivered yet.

The prosecutorial authorities in Sarajevo were opposed to the extradition, similarly to previous cases.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Croatian FM Grlić Radman: High Representative in BiH Remnant of Past

ZAGREB, 3 Aug, 2021 - Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said in an interview with the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) daily on Tuesday that the post of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina(BiH) was a remnant of the past which was also proof of the lack of democracy in that country.

"As a relic of the immediate post-war period, the post of the High Representative is today a manifestation of the lack of democracy in the political life of that country," said Gordan Grlić Radman.

FAZ said that Croatia, which is not only Bosnia and Herzegovina's only EU neighbour but also a signatory to the Dayton Accords, closely watched the arrival of the new High Representative, German politician Christian Schmidt, who took office on Sunday.

"Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a place for experiment. I say that not only as the Croatian foreign minister but as someone who was born in Bosnia and Herzgovina and whose family comes from there," said Grlić Radman, referring to the so-called "Bonn Powers" which allow the High Representative to remove politicians and pass and repeal laws by decree.

Grlić Radman expressed reservations about the recent decision of High Representative Valentin Inzko to pass a law punishing the denial of genocide.

Proof of democratic deficit

"The High Representative has the right to use the Bonn powers but their application represents a democratic deficit which is not in accordance with Bosnia and Herzegovina's European ambitions," Grlić Radman said.

He also said that changing Bosnia and Herzegovina's Constitution through decrees was no solution.

Issue of representative of Croats

Grlić Radman also thinks that centralist tendencies of some Bosniak politicians are not a solution either.

Croatia's foreign minister said that Zagreb had been observing the "open practice" of excluding Croats from the political decision-making process for years.

When electing the members of the tripartite Presidency, a part of Bosniaks choose a candidate who is only seemingly a Croat candidate but in reality supports Bosniak interests, said Grlić Radman, as carried by FAZ.

Reform of election law needed

He said that Croatia had been advocating for years a reform of the election law, which would, for instance, through the reorganisation of electoral units make it impossible for Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina to be overvoted when electing members of the presidency and the parliament.

According to Grlić Radman, that is a question of Croats electing their own representative and no longer being overvoted, not of creating a third entity, in addition to Republika Srpska and the Federation.

He stressed there was growing support for such an approach in the EU and expressed optimism about Christian Schmidt's term of office.

"We look forward to cooperating with Christian Schmidt and we are certain that together with the EU and the U.S. he will encourage legitimate representatives of the constituent peoples to reach a compromise," Grlić Radman told FAZ.For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

€3.3m Provided by Croatia for Projects of Bosnia and Herzegovina Croats in 2021

ZAGREB, 22 July 2021 - The Croatian government on Thursday endorsed a decision on the distribution of 25 million kuna of aid for projects important for the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2021.

The state-secretary of the central office for the Croats abroad, Zvonko Milas, informed the Plenković cabinet about the distribution of the funds.

An interdepartmental task force for coordination of financial support for cultural, educational, scientific, healthcare, and other programs in the interest of Bosnia and Herzegovina Croats in 2021, thus decided that HRK 25 million would be distributed to cover 79 programs and projects this year.

 A healthcare center in Kiseljak, a center for children with disabilities in Grude, the construction of a sports hall in Kupres, the reconstruction of a library in Kaonik,  the project of construction of a water supply network in Domaljevac, the reconstruction of a town hall in Odžak, the reconstruction of a culture center in Stolac, and the film festival "Ivo Gregurović" in Orašje are some of the projects which would be co-funded by the Croatian government.

This year's allocation of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatas' programs is by 3.5 million kuna higher than last year.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

President Zoran Milanović Says Outvoting Croats in BiH Will "Come to an End"

ZAGREB, 13 July, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Tuesday said that outvoting Croats in elections for the collective presidency and parliament in Bosnia and Herzegovina will come to an end and that Bosniak politicians are to blame for the "misfortune in BiH".

The Bosniak member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency, Šefik Džaferović, said on Monday that Croatian pesident  was behaving like "a rude guest in someone else's house." Milanović is on a working visit to BiH and stopped in Vitez and Mostar, but not the capital of Sarajevo. Džaferović insisted that Milanović only came to BiH to cause problems and incidents.

"No, no. They are the cause of political instability, nervousness and misfortune in BiH. They are doing exactly what Haris Silajdžić warned about, 15 years ago when he said 'if you continue like that, you will make the Croats abhor this country that is their homeland'," Milanović told reporters in Livno.

Commenting on Džaferović's statement that he needn't come if he was going to behave like that, Milanović said that he was a guest in BiH to those people who welcomed him." "My hosts are the democratic authorities and the Franciscans," said Milanović.

During the three-day working visit to BiH, Milanović visited the towns mainly populated by Croats:  Vitez, Mostar, Ljubuški, Tomislavgrad and Livno. He visited the local Franciscan monasteries and said that the biggest gratitude for preserving the Croatian heritage went to the local friars.

Milanović said that the biggest problem is the outvoting of Croats and imposing Željko Komšić as the Croat member of the tripartite presidency who was voted in with Bosniak votes as well as attempts to achieve the same thing in the upper house - the House of People's in the country's parliament.

"The seats designated for Croats in the House of Peoples are being taken by people who aren't Croats or are lying that they are and they are elected by another ethnic group. That is the same template as in the presidency. The same story. And that has to come to an end," he underscored.

Asked why then he attended an SDP BiH election rally in 2010 and supported Komšić, Milanović said he was "tricked." That isn't a change in policy but rather a policy of maturing and realising someone's false nature. I haven't changed, but they are despicable," said Milanović.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Croatian PM: Srebrenica Atrocities Are Defeat of Humanity

ZAGREB, 11 July, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković says in his message on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of the Srebrenica tragedy that the insane atrocities committed in Srebrenica amounted to the defeat of humanity and that Croatians are in their thoughts with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On Sunday Plenković wrote on his Twitter account that today "the tribute is being paid to thousands of innocent Bosniak victims who will never be forgotten."

The killing of more than 8,000 Bosniak civilians, men and boys in Srebrenica 26 years ago when that eastern Bosnian enclave fell into the hands of the Serb force was described by the Croatian Prime Minister as "insane crime " which amounted to the defeat of humanity.

During this year's commemorative events, remains of 19 Srebrenica victims will be buried in the Potočari memorial centre. The youngest victims unearthed from mass graves are Azmir Osmanovć, who was a 16-year-old boy when he was killed, and 17-year-old Fikret Kiverić.  Also the remains of 24-year-old girl will be buried today.

So far, the funeral rites have been organised at the Potočari centre for 6,652 victims who were exhumed after the war from mass graves or from unmarked individual graves.

The families of another 237 victims buried their dearest ones in other cemeteries after the identification of the remains.

Also, the remains of 88 victims not yet identified are in the ossuary in Tuzla. In several cases, the agreement has not been obtained from families for burials as long as only parts of the bodies of their dearest ones are exhumed and identified. Those families wait for the discovery of the all the remains of those victims.

Since early Sunday morning, hundreds of mourners started flocking Srebrenica and Potočari.

To date, 48 sentenced for Srebrenica genocide to a total of over 700 years

International courts and local courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia have to date sentenced 48 wartime officials and military and police officers of Bosnia Serb to a total of more than 700 years

Five high-profile convicts have been given life sentences for genocide and crimes against humanity committed in July 1995 in Srebrenica. The wartime political and military leaders Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić were tried for charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Srebrenica, Prijedor, Ključ, and other districts of Bosnia, and these two masterminds of the Srebrenica tragedy have been sentenced to life in prison by the UN tribunal ICTY.

For more news about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Milanović: No Concessions Concerning Bosnia Croat Rights As Long as I’m President

ZAGREB, 10 July, 2021 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović has said that during his presidential term, Croatia will make no longer any concessions when it comes to the rights of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Milanović said in an interview, published by the Bosnia and Herzegovina edition of the Večernji List on Saturday ahead of his visit to several BiH cities and towns mainly populated by local Croats, that during the recent adoption of the NATO summit meeting's final communique, he had insisted that the document should make mention of the Dayton Peace Accords which include guarantees for the respect for treating the Croats as one of the three constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina and for making sure that this aspirant could continue its journey towards the European Union.

"In terms of the size, the Croats are today the least numerous people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, however, this does not mean that Croats should be treated as a minority and they will never been reduced to a (ethnic) minority," Milanović said.

"It would be in the interest of everyone to make sure that the Dayton agreement is respected, and compliance with the agreement can help Bosnia and Herzegovina to become a law-based state that can continue travelling towards the EU. Croatia strongly supports those efforts and would like to see Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the EU," Milanović said in the interview, adding that he was important that Croatia's Prime Minister and foreign policy-makers joined him in this tough stance.

"As long as I am the president, Croatia will make no concessions and will not stop halfway or join the stronger ones."

Milanović recalled that the document adopted at the end of the NATO summit meeting also pointed out the need for amending Bosnia and Herzegovina's election legislation, and he explained that the amendments should result in ensuring the legitimate political representativeness.

The right to elect your representative is a pillar of every democracy and such case should be also in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I can't see who would oppose the rights of Croats to have their representatives, he elaborated.

In this context he reiterated his criticism of the current practice which has led to the situation that the Croats do not have their legitimate representative in the country's three-member presidency.

He recalls that it is the constitutional obligation of the President of the Republic of Croatia to care for the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"It is unacceptable to have Bosnia and Herzegovina as an area for the implementation of somebody's experiment particularly detrimental to the local Croats," he underscored.

Milanović will visit Vitez, Mostar, Ljubuški, Livno and Tomislavgrad on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

This is his first visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in his capacity os the Croatian head of state.

For more on politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute Expanding Scientific Cooperation in Sarajevo (BiH)

July 2, 2021 - Dedication to researching and developing the field of social sciences sees the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute expanding scientific cooperation once again after Željko Holjevac's visit to Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute, active as always, continues to expand its cooperation on scientifically explain social issues (symbolically noted as 2021 marks 30 years of the Institute).

As reported on their official website, Institute headmaster dr. Željko Holjevac visited Sarajevo, the capital city of the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, from June 21-23.

The main story of that visit was a signed bilateral cooperation agreement between the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute and the Sarajevo Catholic Faculty. The agreement was signed by Holjevac and Faculty dean dr. Darko Tomašević.

Additionally, Holjevac was at the reception with Vrhbosanski's vice bishop Vinko Puljić.

„They talked about possible shared projects that would be adjusted to the tradition, culture and developing needs of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina“, informed Ivo pilar social research Institute.

Croatian Cultural Society Napredak (progress) also met with Holjevac. Napredak soon celebrates 120 years of work and was founded at the start of the 20th century when the famous Croatian social scientist Pilar was active in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Napredak plans various manifestations for their big anniversary, and dr. Holjevac discussed the possible cooperation in organizing an international scientific symposium regarding the identity of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ivo Pilar Institute working in full speed

This sort of cooperation in regards to researching the Croatian diaspora in the neighboring country where the Croatian historical role and present is significant is nothing new for the Ivo Pilar Social research Institute.

As TCN reported earlier in May, the Institute, along with scientific partners, organized a conference “Identity of Boka Kotorska Croatians“, and the three-day event gathered crucial scientific institutes in Croatia to the town of Tivat in the Bay of Croatian Saints in Montenegro.

Scientists from the Institute were also active this year as they participated at European Conference For Social Work Research (ECSWR), International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) Conference, and also by presenting a book on Croatian Mountain Rescue Service in Gospić, or by presenting book Cultural Identity of Vukovar – Contribution to Investigating Heritage and Successors“ – to list some of the activities TCN reported on throughout 2021.

As 2021 marks the 30th year anniversary of the Ivo Pilar Institute, apart from the aforementioned actions (to which we can include nurturing relations with scientific colleagues in Slovakia or opening a new research office on Vis Island), several more goals were envisioned by the end of the year: to publish the first edition of critical translation for the book „South Slavic (Yugoslav) Question“ by Ivo Pilar from 1918, and to make and publish Pilar's Kaleidoskop of Croatian society.

With the active academic dynamic demonstrated by the Institute, there is no doubt there is enough quality and capacity to achieve these goals. It is only a matter of time in such a busy and productive schedule.

Learn more about Croatian Diaspora on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 25 June 2021

SDA, Džaferović, Komšić: Croatia Defeated In EP Regarding Ethnic Divisions

June 25th, 2021 -  The leading Bosniak party, SDA, and two members of the Bosnian Presidency, Šefik Džaferović and Željko Komšić, said on Thursday that Croatia and the concept of ethnic divisions were defeated in the EP with the rejection of an amendment on constituent peoples to a Bosnia and Herzegovina progress report.

At a plenary on Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a report on BiH, rejecting amendments by Croatian MEPs on the rights of constituent peoples, which the European People's Party supported but not the Liberals, the Left, and the Greens.

"The rejection of the amendment by the parliamentarians from Croatia and ultra-right European parties, which asked of BiH to additionally deepen discrimination in the election process... is a clear message as to which direction future reforms of the Constitution and electoral legislation in BiH should take," the SDA said in a press release.

Komšić called the result of the vote in Brussels a clear message to Zagreb.

"That was as expected given the fact that the allegedly legitimate representation of the constituent peoples has no basis in European Court of Human Rights rulings. That's a message Zagreb should take note of well because it's clear now that the ethnic concept they are forcing in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not acceptable to the EU," he said.

Džaferović said Croatia's idea to introduce "the rhetoric of ethnic divisions" in the EP resolution was rejected.

"After NATO's refusal at the past summit to include similar formulations in its declaration, this is the second important message after which Zagreb should... start changing its policy on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Any attempt by Zagreb to impose solutions on Bosnia and Herzegovina will fail and an unnecessary decline of Croatia's reputation," he said.

Džaferović said BiH should reform its Constitution and electoral legislation based on ECHR rulings and European Commission recommendations to eliminate discrimination and ensure equality for all its citizens across the country.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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