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news 23 May 13

Threat to Suspend Bosnia from Council of Europe

The European Parliament is to vote on Doris Pack's proposal that Bosnia be suspended from the Council of Europe for overall lack of progress.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo
  Doris Pack / photo source: European Parliament

The European Parliament is to vote on Thursday on a proposal of Doris Pack who called on the Council of Europe to suspend Bosnia for its failure to implement the Sejdic and Finci rights ruling.

The 2009 European Court of Human Rights ruling told Bosnia to change its Constitution and allow minorities run for the State Presidency and for Parliament's House of Peoples, currently reserved for members of the three largest ethnic groups: Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs.

Pack also called on the European Commission to consider suspending its Interim Agreement with Bosnia as well as the IPA financial assistance on grounds of non-compliance with the human rights ruling “and overall lack of progress on the path towards EU accession”.

Prior to the move in the European Parliament on Wednesday, Pack told a Sarajevo newspaper that radical changes have to be made in the country.

Her colleague Jelko Kacin criticized the idea of sanctioning Bosnia and Herzegovina, however.

Kacin said he will vote against the amendments on Thursday, and does not believe Pack's call to dismiss Bosnia from the Council of Europe and to suspend EU agreements will pass the vote.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is not Belarus,” Kacin said. “Only that country was suspended from the Council of Ministers.”

Bosnia's political leaders have failed since December 2009 to implement the Sejdic and Finci ruling, which has become a key obstacle to moving forward in EU integration.

The country signed the Interim Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union in 2008 but it was not put into force due to non-implementation of the ruling.

The Sejdic and Finci issue has been the subject of almost every political meetings of Bosnian and foreign officials.

However, in spite of the pressure, the parties so far did not succeed in finding a common solution on implementation the ruling.

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