Marking Bosnia's 10th anniversary of membership in the Council of Europe, Bosnian Foreign Minister said he hoped so-called 'Sejdic-Finci' ruling will be implemented this year.
Bosnian Foreign Minister, Zlatko Lagumdzija, said on April 25 in Strasbourg that he hoped the country would soon implement the 2009 European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, ruling, which told Bosnia to change its constitution to allow ethnic minorities to run for top posts.
Currently, seats in the tripartite State Presidency and in the House of the Peoples, one of two chambers of parliament, are reserved to the three largest ethnic groups, Serbs, Bosniaks and Croats. The court ruling was brought at the behest of two Bosnians, a Jew and a Roma respectively.
Lagumdzija said that the political will in Bosnia existed to overcome resistance to the proposed changes.
“We are ready to try again... to reach what we firmly believe our citizens deserve,” Lagumdzija said, after meeting Thorbjorn Jagland, Council of Europe Secretary General.
The Minister also said his goal was to help transform Bosnia into a stable democracy based on Council of Europe values.
The British Foreign Minister, William Hague, who is chairman of the Committee of Ministers on the Sejdic and Finci case, published a statement on Wednesday saying once more that Bosnia must “adjust its constitution so that no individual is barred from standing for political office on the basis of their national or ethnic origin”.
Hague added that he hoped to see significant progress towards full implementation by June, when the next Human Rights meeting of the Committee of Ministers will be held.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina is not the first state that has been required to change its constitution to meet European standards and I urge its leaders to act without further delay,” Hague recalled.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is marking 10 years of its membership in the Council of Europe having joined the organization on April 24, 2002. The Council was founded in 1949 to promote cooperation between all countries of Europe. It has 47 member states.