The legitimate representatives of the Croat political will in Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted at the Eight session of the Croatian National Assembly (CNA) the Declaration consisting of 7 articles, as a firm commitment to all Croats and a strong message to all their social and political partners with whom they respectively share the responsibility for the stability and prosperity of their common homeland of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The first article expresses clear, firm and unambiguous commitment of the Croat people to the independent, integral, stable and prosperous Bosnia and Herzegovina as their homeland and the optimal framework for the realisation of Croat national interests, respecting the full legal and genuine constituency of Croats in BiH and their equality with Bosniaks and Serbs and other citizens who do not declare themselves as members of one of the three constituent peoples. Furthermore, the first article expresses the concern about the policies promoting unitarism and separatism as a cause of inevitable conflict.
The second article of the Declaration describes the current constitutional, institutional and political situation (based on unjust amendments to the original Washington and Dayton Accords) as completely unacceptable for Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and explains reasons for such a perception. The current political situation places Croats in a subordinate and unequal constitutional, institutional and political position compared to Bosniaks and Serbs by denying them the fundamental rights, such as the right to legitimate political representation, the right to free access to the results of their work by the unjust distribution of financial resources, the right to freely dispose of social, cultural and natural resources in areas where they have lived for centuries, actually by denying them not only constitutional rights, but also rights to cultural, educational and media autonomy and exposing them to a disproportionate risk of political, ideological and nationally motivated judicial repression and to a continuous, organised and managed political, ideological and media violence, what has a strong impact on the process of emigration of Croats from BiH, leading to very serious demographic problems.
The third article detects the unitarism and the separatism as core reasons for unstable and unfunctional BiH and offers a solution in form of the so-called Brussel upgrade of the Dayton foundation, i.e. constitutional, legal and institutional changes according to the principles of federalism and consociation democracy, decentralisation, subsidiarity and legitimate political representation, as partly set out in the Resolutions of the European Parliament from 2014 and 2017, respecting the principle of constitutionality and mutual equality between the three constituent peoples and ensuring the highest degree of individual, human and civil rights for every citizen of BiH irrespective of their national (non-)affiliation.
The fourth article defines the EU and NATO membership as strategic goals of the Croat people, proudly emphasising the role of the CNA members in the so-far accomplishments and the support of the officials from the Republic of Croatia and Croatian Members of the European Parliament. The CNA especially welcomes the establishment of a coordination mechanism as the “vox populi” tool and firmly commits to speeding up the implementation of all necessary reforms on the BiH path to the EU and NATO, including dismantling of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) as soon as possible as one of the prerequisites for full BiH membership in the EU, and to ensure full BiH sovereignty as an independent, integral , stable and prosperous state, whose institutions are capable of assuming responsibility for the state and its sovereignty.
The fifth article describes the character of the conflict in the territory of BiH and the role of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia, the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia and the Croatian Defence Council, respecting the core values of the Patriotic War and emphasises the need of ensuring the full protection, dignity and provided care to all Croat veterans, the families of the killed and the victims of the Patriotic War. The Article puts a special focus on a need for processing all cases of individual war crimes and all other crimes committed in the war, strictly applying the principles of individual accountability and guilt, resolutely opposing selective and tendentious indictments under command responsibility towards the commanders of the Croatian Defence Council. The Article also emphasises the inconsistence of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia because of its character and jurisdiction as a criminal court not called upon to decide on the matters of state responsibility but rather on the responsibility of individuals.
The sixth article presents the main goal to raise the quality of life and work in BiH to slow down and even halt the process of emigration and to achieve demographic renewal of the Croats. The Article identifies the political stability as a foundation for long-term economic growth and development and for the prosperous future of BiH, whereby constituency and equality of all peoples are considered to be the main precondition for economic growth and the legal uncertainty and corruption the main obstacles. The Article defines the measures for achieving the political stability and economic development and growth by preservation of the Croat national and cultural identity, creating and supporting the institutions of the national importance in the fields of education, science, culture and the media.
The seventh article outlines the principles and guidelines for achieving the full constituency and equality as follows: national interests and general wellbeing should be ahead of and above personal and party interests; political parties should be used as the framework and means of political fighting for general wellbeing, national, social and state interests; the principles of excellence and efficiency should be applied when it comes to human resources. In this Article, the members of the CNA commit to focusing on the activities related to the Constitutional changes, changes of the Electoral Law of BiH and implementation of the BiH Constitutional Court’s decision concerning the City of Mostar as a priority and all other above-mentioned issues, already defined as the issues of national importance. Modelled according to the bodies of language communities in Belgium which, along with political autonomy, also provide a complete and effective educational, media and cultural autonomy, members of the CMA further commit to focusing on transforming the CNAC into an all-Croat umbrella organisation in BiH that brings together legitimate political representatives and all leading social, economic, educational, cultural, sports, religious and other Croat representatives in BiH through the CNA Council, and the inclusion of the CNA BiH as a holder of non-territorial autonomy of the Croats in BiH in the constitutional and legal order of BiH.