news 23 Jul 13

EU Ministers Chastise Bosnia Over Reforms

The Council of European Union expressed disappointment about Bosnia's lack of progress towards the EU and once again urged politicians to implement a key human rights ruling.

Elvira M. Jukic

Bosnian politicians need to make a credible effort to implement the Sejdic and Finci human rights ruling, EU ministers said on July 22, calling on politicians to act in order to move EU integration ahead.

“As other countries of the region make progress, Bosnia and Herzegovina is lagging behind,” their conclusions said.

“The Council regrets in particular the failure of BiH political leaders to implement over the last three years the ECfHR ruling...placing BiH in breach of its international obligations,” ministers added.

The 2009 Sejdic and Finci ruling by the European Court of Human Rights told Bosnia to change its constitution and allow minorities to run for the top governing post currently reserved for representatives of the three constituent peoples: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.

The EU ministers said they were concerned also about possible implications in view of the upcoming 2014 elections in Bosnia, as the Coucil of Europe has previously said it might not recognize the results of the elections if the ruling is not implemented.

“A credible effort in this regard remains necessary for the entry into force of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement,” the conclusions also noted.

“Full implementation of the Sejdic and Finci ruling is a key element for a credible membership application to be considered by the EU.”

The Sejdic and Finci ruling is the key condition for Bosnia's SAA to be put in force and only then can the country submit a credible membership application.

As Bosnian leaders wrestle with the crisis relatesd to the rights ruling, the rest of the region is moving forward, especially since Croatia became the 28th EU member state on July 1 and the second in former Yugoslavia, after Slovenia.

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