European Union expects political leaders including those at the local level to honour the victims of the past conflicts, a European Commission spokesperson told N1, following the information that authorities in a Montenegrin municipality made first steps towards naming a local street after former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic, who is appealing his life sentence for war crimes, including genocide, committed in Bosnia.
The council in charge of naming and renaming settlements, streets and squares in the northeastern municipality of Berane, Montenegro, adopted a proposal to name a local street after former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic.
The head of the council, Goran Kikovic, said that the decision was made by an advisory body which has no decision-making powers but forwards its opinion on the proposals to the competent Secretariat and that the final word on naming streets or renaming them comes from the competent ministry.
Soon after the information was made public, Bosnian ambassador in Montenegro Branimir Jukic contacted Dragoslav Scekic, the Head of Berane Municipality, who said he would never approve such decision.
“The proposal has no ground in law. I was surprised that the Council did not review all legal regulations saying if a proposal could be sent for further discussion. That’s an advisory body elected in local self-government by the municipal assembly. The Council is deciding on proposals by citizens, associations and NGOs,” he explained.
But, the information sparked the response from Brussels.
“Glorification of war criminals, revisionism and denial of well-documented and established facts about wartime events, including war crimes, contradict the most fundamental European values,” said EC spokesperson Ana Pisonero.
“The EU expects political leaders, including at local level, to honour the victims of the past conflicts and sincerely promote democracy, justice and reconciliation in the Western Balkans,” the spokesperson added.