Unilateral withdrawal from institutions, or blockages of decision-making within them, are unacceptable and counter-productive from any side, embassies of the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and the EU Delegation in Bosnia said in a joint statement on Friday, adding that such actions would only undermine the improvements and progress that citizens wish to see.
“They (unilateral actions) bear real-life consequences when it comes to Bosnia's relationships with other countries and the international community. It also sends a negative sign to investors, as well as to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are electing to leave the country,” the Quint and the EU Delegation said after the politicians from Bosnia's Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) entity announced they would not take part in the decision-making process in State institutions until foreign judges in the Constitutional Court are expelled.
The reason for this reaction was the ruling of the Constitutional Court which said that several laws adopted by the RS parliament were unconstitutional. The laws in question are the RS Law on Agricultural Land and the Law on Inland Navigation. The Court ruled in favour of the appeal of Bosniak MP's in the RS parliament who said that this entity is encroaching on State competencies and taking away the state-owned land.
The Decision was made with the votes of several foreign judges who serve in Bosnia along with local judges coming from three constituent peoples and “others.” Their role is to prevent out-voting each of the peoples in important matters.
Noting that the Quint's goal is a stable, functional and prosperous state, they also warned that decisions of the Constitutional Court, as decisions of any Constitutional Court in any country, are final and binding, and must be implemented.
“There have been far too many instances where this has not been the case,” they said. “Solutions to the composition of the Constitutional Court are possible within the prescribed procedures and along with the wider reforms proposed by the EU for the accession process, such as the latest Opinion and the Priebe report.”
The embassies suggested that discussing such possibilities among political parties and in Parliament, through compromise and dialogue, is the best way to strengthen the rule of law.
It is also the best and fastest way to move the country forward to a point which will no longer require international supervision, they added.
According to the embassies, the supervision in the form of the Office of the High Representative will thus become redundant thanks to the existence of an independent judiciary and clear division of powers.