- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Two senior Brussels officials on Monday criticised Bosnia for not keeping to the first EU deadline laid out in the so-called Road Map, relating to the Sejdic-Finci case.
The Commissioner for Enlargement, Stefan Fule, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, on Monday said that Bosnia had failed to live up to its obligations with the EU.
“The Council of Europe and the European Commission note with great disappointment that the institutional and political leaders of BiH have missed the first timeline for implementing the Road Map,” the two said.
They referred to deadlines given in the so-called Road Map, which was handed to Bosnian officials in Brussels on June 27.
The first deadline was August 31, when Bosnia was asked to send proposed amendments to its constitution to parliament relating to the 2009 European Court of Human Rights ruling in the Sejdic-Finci case.
The amendments would allow members of ethnic minorities to run for top governing posts currently reserved to representatives of the country's three largest ethnic groups, namely Bosniaks, [Muslims] Serbs and Croats.
The parties “did not submit their joint proposal... to the Parliamentary Assembly for making the constitution of BiH compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,” Fule and Jagland noted.
They added that the EU Road Map remains valid and that the objectives will not change, emphasizing that the Sejdic-Finci verdict must be implemented.
“The EU and the CoE call on the leaders of BiH to uphold their responsibilities and work together to implement the judgment of the Strasbourg Court,” the statement read.
They need to “fulfil the country's commitments to the Council of Europe and move the EU integration agenda forward.”
So far, various proposed amendments have been sent to Bosnia's State Parliament. But most have been criticized by the case plaintiffs, Dervo Sejdic and Jakob Finci, as well as by civil society organizations in Bosnia.
“Faced with a number of disparate proposals, we regret that it appears that these issues are given a lower priority by BiH's leaders than political rivalries,” Fule and Jagland said.
“The citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina deserve better.”
The high-level dialogue between Bosnian leaders and the European Commissioner for Enlargement on June 27 in Brussels ended with the handing over of a 'road map' containing a list of obligations and deadlines.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.