Bosnia Finally Agrees New State Government

Balkan Insight
Publication date: 
Feb 23 2015

Four months after Bosnia’s general elections, the leaders of the six parties that make up the ruling coalition at the state level have agreed on the distribution of ministerial and deputy ministerial seats in the new government. 
The breakthrough came about at a meeting which in Sarajevo on Sunday evening which was attended by Bakir Izetbegovic and Zeljko Komsic from the Party of Democratic Action, SDA and the Democratic Front, DF, Dragan Covic from the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, as well as Mladen Bosic, Mladen Ivanic and Dragan Cavic from the Serbian Democratic Party, SDS, the Party of Democratic Progress, PDP, and the Peoples' Democratic Movement, NDP. 

The six leaders agreed which party would get which of the six minsterial and six deputy minsterial positions in the new government. It was previously agreed that the state premier will be Denis Zvizdic from the SDA.

The breakthrough came less than a day before the expected arrival in Bosnia of the EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. 

Mogherini is visiting Sarajevo on Monday to push for the adoption of a joint declaration in which Bosnian leaders would pledge their continued support for the EU accession process. 

In an interview with Banja Luka daily Nezavisne Novine, Mogherini stressed that the EU was still deeply interested in Bosnia’s progress.

“Very fact that I am visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina for the second time in only three months clearly shows how much your country is important to the EU and to me personally,” she said in the interview published on Sunday. 

In Sarajevo, Mogherini will meet representatives of executive and legislative bodies from the state level and both of its entities – the Bosniak-Croat BFederation and predominately Serb Republika Srpska. Also on Monday, the state parliament is expected to adopt the EU declaration which was drafted by Bosnia’s presidency and accepted by leaders of all main parties. 

Following the adoption of this declaration, the EU will activate Bosnia’s Stabilization and Association Agreement, allowing the country to move forward and initiate key economic and social reforms.

However the latest agreement about the formation of the state government still does not mean that negotiations about the formation of new governments in the country are at an end.

While the leaders of the six parties on Sunday agreed the distribution of seats in the state government, they failed to reach an agreement on the distribution of seats in the Federation government. The DF is demanding all three ministerial positions earmarked for Bosnian Serbs, while the HDZ wants at least one of those positions. 

The parties are expected to reconvene for more talks on Wednesday. After the meeting Covic from the HDZ said that the establishment of the state government would not continue without an agreement on the make-up of the Federation government.