Yesterday, a referendum was held in Republika Srpska (RS), in which citizens were asked whether the day of 9 January should be marked and celebrated the Day of Republika Srpska. Dubravka Šuica, head of the Croatian delegation of the European People's Party and Vice-President of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina is closely monitoring the situation in that country, and after the referendum she said:
˝I think that this referendum was unnecessary and unconstitutional and that the negative rhetoric will benefit no one. The referendum organized by RS is only one indicator of unresolved relationships. Although this is not a referendum on separation, it points to the fact that national relations are in poor condition and it is being used for reigniting tensions for electoral purposes, keeping in mind that local elections in BiH will be held in early October.˝
˝Taking into account the situation in Europe, I believe that an unstable BiH is not in anyone's interest, and therefore our policy and EU policy must be more decisive. The EU will have to start talks on the post-Dayton organization of Bosnia and Herzegovina if we want to avoid escalation of the situation in the country. Croatia, as a full member of the EU will not and can not just stand by and watch the situation in BiH, especially due to the fact that the Croats in BiH do not have equal status. Therefore, we will make all efforts for Croats to be a constituent people as well as the other two nations, and this should be a requirement for entry into the EU. I would like to recall the fact that it was during the presidency of the Croatian Presidency member Dragan Čović that Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted its application for membership. So on this occasion, I invite the international community, High Representative Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and the High Representative for BiH Valentina Inzka to maximally engage, to help to calm tensions, and to return BiH on the right, the European path,˝ concluded Dubravka Šuica.
In September 2016 the General Affairs Council of the EU accepted the request of BiH's candidacy for EU membership. These positive signals from the last meeting of the Council of the EU are a serious turning point in the European path of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The complex process of negotiations with the European Commission begins, rather, answering a demanding questionnaire, in which BiH institutions will have the opportunity to show their orientation towards European integration. It is expected that of the 35 negotiating chapters the hardest will be that of the judiciary, part of which will include the position of Croats in BiH.