The European Parliament expressed concerns by the lack of reform progress in Bosnia and the early beginning of the pre-election campaign. MEP’s warned that election results must be implemented as soon as possible in order to continue with the necessary reforms.
EU Parliament member (MEP) Cristian Dan Preda expressed concerns over the lack of reforms and the early election pre-election campaign, during Wednesday discussion in the European Parliament.
Due to lack of the agreement on Bosnia’s Election Law reform, October election must be held under certain conditions and election results must be visible in practice, without delay, Preda said.
After the elections, MEP’s agreed that Bosnian authorities must cooperate and overcome the differences in order to bring the country closer to EU and implement the necessary reforms.
"The priorities are numerous, the fight against crime and corruption, strengthening of the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and the public administration reform," Preda stressed.
According to him, this year's report stresses the need for a legal framework when it comes to the protection of human rights. Certain measures must be taken when it comes to the prevention of discrimination, especially in the context of cases of discrimination established by the International Court of Human Rights.
He added that it is extremely worrying that media freedoms have worsened in the country and said that politicians must create a safe environment in which journalists can work safely.
MEP Tonino Picula said that they could see no progress in Bosnia. On the contrary, they concluded that the country is a state of stagnation.
"The situation became worse right before the election. We’ve witnessed a pre-election rally by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held in Bosnia (Sarajevo), and attempts of denial of the Srebrenica genocide by Republika Srpska entity officials. As there was no agreement on amendments to the state Election Law, everything has been brought into question,” Picula stressed.
Two years ago the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled that some provisions of the Election Law were inconsistent with the state Constitution. Since then the authorities have failed to act in the legally allowed timeframe resulting in a further court ruling to delete two sections of the Election Law that treat the matter of representation in the FBiH House of Peoples.
The ongoing political talks on the electoral reform in Bosnia have been in a deadlock for some time, despite the mediation of international representatives in the country, who took the advisory role in these negotiations.
He warned that report on Bosnia must contain an item that would explain the ultimate cause of all the problems in the country and expressed his opinion that the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the war in Bosnia is not functioning properly.
Bastian Bas Belder who is also an MEP said that the report did not treat the Russian influence on Bosnia and it’s entity Republika Srpska, nor did it treat other countries’ influence, such as Turkish and the influence from some Gulf countries. He wanted to know how these countries could affect Bosnia’s EU accession.