European Union (EU) has asked Bosnia and Herzegovina to make changes to its Constitution, which is unusual for this early phase of the accession process, Bosnia Presidency member Milorad Dodik said after the meeting with EU ambassador Johann Sattler who handed over the European Commission's 2020 enlargement report to the Presidency members.
“It will be hard to reach the Constitution changes, which is expected at this stage. This is unusual for the EU accession process. Corrections to the Constitution are usually demanded towards the end of the process, prior to the membership, and we are asked to do that at the beginning," Dodik said.
European Commission published the 2020 report on the Western Balkans on Tuesday, according to which Bosnia made little or no progress in key areas on its EU integration path.
Amb.@josattlerpresented the#EUEnlargementReport to#BiHPresidency today, which has committed to move#BiHforward on its path by taking a lead on the country’s efforts in the implementation of the 14 key priorities set out in the@EU_CommissionOpinion.pic.twitter.com/FGdpr277AK— EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina (@eubih)October 7, 2020
Dodik said he agreed with the part of the report that warns about the problems in Bosnia's judiciary and the rule of law.
“But it was them who created it, not us,” he stressed, recalling of the solutions that were imposed by the international community administrator's office, known as the Office of the High Representative.
“We have been saying for 20 years that it is wrong. And it really is, it's a catastrophe,” said the Presidency member, stressing that Bosnia needs comprehensive judicial reform, not a reform of some of its segments.
According to him, the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council -- the top judicial institution that oversees the work of judges and prosecutors, and disciplines them, was created contrary to the Constitution and thanks to “catastrophic policies of (former High Representative) Paddy Ashdown, who was imposing here.” All future changes require a political compromise in line with the Constitution, he underlined.
Besides Dodik, the Serb Presidency member, the meeting with EU ambassador was also attended by Bosniak member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic, while Croat member Zeljko Komsic was absent due to the coronavirus testing he had to undergo.