Esteemed members of the BiH Presidency in the old and new convocation, Dear President of the Republic of Srpska, Esteemed presidents of Governments of the Republic of Srpska and Federation of BiH, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, of the House of Representatives and the House of Peoples, Representatives of institutions at state, entity and other levels of government, Esteemed representatives of religious communities in BiH, Your Excellencies, ambassadors, representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations in BiH, Dear citizens, Ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honor to have the opportunity to address you, for the first time as the Serb member, and at the same time as the Chairwoman of the BiH Presidency.

I have been elected to this responsible position, as is a well-known fact, by the citizens of the Republic of Srpska, to whom I would firstly like to express my gratitude for their enormous support and given trust.

In the last elections, they gave me the mandate to represent their interests in the BiH Presidency and defend the constitutional position of both the Republic of Srpska and BiH.

I come to the Presidency with open arms, with good intentions. I wish us to work together, in accordance with our constitutional competences, for the benefit of both entities and all peoples in BiH, as well as other citizens, and not to anyone’s detriment.

We desperately need dialogue on all the open issues that weigh on our daily lives. Both within the Presidency and other state institutions, as well as with legislative and executive authorities at the level of the Republic of Srpska and the Federation of BiH, and I believe that, in these globally complex circumstances, each of us will contribute to the search for solutions to existing problems. I believe we are politically mature enough to determine our own priorities, and not have solutions imposed on us by anyone from the outside. That is why I want us to be subjects of decision-making, and not mere objects or recipients of interventions, because we live in a country that belongs equally to all of us and in which we, elected by the people, are accountable to the people for what has been done or not done. Since if we want to be respected by others, then we primarily must have more respect for ourselves

Сматрам да смо довољно политички зрели да сами одређујемо сопствене приоритете, а не да нам било ко извана намеће рјешења. Зато желим да будемо субјекти одлучивања, а не пуки објекти или примаоци интервенција, јер  живимо у земљи која подједнако припада свима нама и у којој ми, изабрани од народа, народу и полажемо рачуне за учињено или неучињено. Јер, ако хоћемо да нас поштују други, онда за почетак морамо више да поштујемо сами себе.

There are many things on which we disagree within BiH and this is nothing new. But the measure of our success will be precisely in finding the lowest common denominator and directing our forces towards those goals that are equally important for everyone.

I am an advocate of discussing all important issues, but in practice that we primarily deal with common priorities, and not with those issues that we know in advance that there is no agreement of all in BiH.

I believe that it is necessary to improve our relations and build bridges of cooperation both within BiH and with countries in the region. Primarily with Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro, with whom we share a border, but also with North Macedonia, Slovenia and others in the region and beyond.

It is important that in these challenging times we accept every development opportunity that comes our way, and that we participate in all regional initiatives that can bring benefits to our economy and citizens together with neighboring countries.

That is why I will strongly advocate for additional strengthening of regional cooperation within the Berlin process, but also for full participation in the Open Balkans initiative. In this sense, I am ready to clarify everything that is necessary, but also to listen to the explanations of other participants who are competent to decide on these issues, in order to reach a harmonized position.  

One of the strategic commitments is the continuation on the European path, and the first task of institutions at all levels is certainly to obtain candidate status for EU membership. It is not possible to implement this work without close coordination of different levels of government, therefore I believe that it is necessary to rehabilitate the coordination system that would enable us to move forward in a systematic and organized manner. 

I particularly wish to highlight that in the context of European integration, but also in all other processes that we will implement, it is of crucial importance that we consistently respect the Dayton Peace Agreement and the constitutional structure of BiH.

It is a framework that provided us with peace, but also clearly determined the position and responsibilities of different levels of government in BiH.

The assumption of the rule of law is respect for the highest legal and political act of a country, without which there is neither a functional legal state nor an orderly system.

And that is exactly what we should primarily strive for, both in the BiH Presidency and in other institutions at all levels of government, because otherwise we would only have disorder, divergence and separation.

At this point, I am obliged to clarify my position regarding the participation of a foreign factor in BiH. Carrying out important functions for many years and taking into account all the stages this country has been through, I understand that good cooperation between local institutions and foreign representatives is necessary. However, democracy will come to life in its full capacity, and internal dialogue and mutual trust will strengthen only when local institutions fully take responsibility for all processes.

It is no secret, nor is it unknown, that I do not believe in the benefits of forcible interventionism of a foreign factor, but that I exclusively believe in dialogue and cooperation.

Just as I do not believe that the abuse or usurpation of constitutional powers on the foreign policy front can help BiH, I also do not believe that foreign judges in the Constitutional Court of BiH, high representatives or foreign micro-managers can help us live in a more successful country.

But, on the other hand, I believe that internal dialogue can help us overcome problems both internally and externally, and as a member of the BiH Presidency, I am ready to contribute to building such a dialogue.    

I congratulate my colleagues in the Presidency and all newly elected representatives of the people in both entities and at the state level, with a wish to, in the next four years, justify the trust that has been given to us.

Thank you!