Leaders of Bosnia’s main Muslim, Croatian and Serbian parties have agreed to form a central government, ending 14 months of political stalemate.
Under the deal, the prime minister will be a Bosnian Croat and the foreign minister a Bosnian Muslim. The move also allows Bosnia to press ahead with EU membership talks.
Announcing the agreement, Bosnia Serb leader Milorad Dodik admitted nobody had really got what they wanted but praised the agreement as a victory for compromise:
“The new Council of Ministers that will soon be formed can apply for the candidate status of the European Union. I think that is the key agreement we have reached today,” he said.
Bosnia is made up of two semi-autonomous entities, the Serb-dominated Republica of Srpska and the Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The EU has welcomed the central government agreement which ends a political crisis triggered by inconclusive elections in October last year. The country had been effectively paralysed since then, along with Brussels blocking its 100 million euro budget support loan until there were positive signs of progress.
Together with a new fiscal framework, Bosnia can now try to deal with its deficit problems.