Croatian bridge project at the heart of inter-Bosnian dispute

  • Mihajlo Kopanja
  • 11.5.2018 14:10

The contentious issue of the Pelješac Bridge which Croatia plans to build by 2022 in order to connect its Dubrovnik exclave to the rest of its territory, has resurfaced after on 26 April, while visiting Bosnia in preparation for the EU-Western Balkans Summit to be held in Sofia, European Council President Donald Tusk witnessed an open dispute between Bosniak and Croat members of Bosnian Presidency over the project. 

Not only does the bridge represent a matter of international disagreement between Bosnia and Croatia, it also generated the polemic between members of the BiH presidency, the Bosniak Bakir Izetbegović and the Croatian Dragan Čović, which surprised Tusk who expected that the topic of discussion would be the upcoming Summit and infrastructure projects. While Croatia regards the construction as taking place within its territorial waters, the  Bosniaks of Bosnia believe it would be situated in international waters, thus blocking their country's naval access. With the president of the Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik stating, in August 2017, that Croatia has the right to build the bridge, the perception of Croats and Bosniaks as allies within Bosnia becomes increasingly questionable, the Pelješac Bridge being just one of the disputes between the two subjects of the Bosnian federation. 

About author: Mihajlo Kopanja

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