Bosnia temporarily suspended from Council of Europe

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Source: N1

Now that Bosnia is suspended from the work of the Council of Europe (CoE) it will lose the right to participate in the CoE's discussions regarding the future of this institution, the CoE budget or the election of the CoE's Secretary-General, the CoE Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE) co-rapporteur for Bosnia, Tiny Kox, told N1 on Tuesday, after Bosnia failed to appoint its delegation in the COE, six months after the general election.

“As co-rapporteur I do deplore the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina was not able to present in time a new delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which is a statutory obligation: a member state has to be present in both statutory organs of the treaty-organisation, Committee of Ministers and Assembly,” Kox said.

He said he regrets the fact that Bosnia failed to present its new PACE delegation on time, which is Bosnia’s statutory obligation – a member state must be represented in both CoE bodies: the Committee of Ministers and the Assembly.

“I again urge the Bosnian Parliament to fulfil its obligation and to present a new delegation as soon as possible, with which delegation I will be most happy to co-operate. Bosnia’s active participation in the work of the organisation, and in its Assembly, is important for both Bosnia and the other member States, as the Assembly is the main European platform for inter-parliamentary dialogue and the political engine of the Council of Europe,” he said.

Protection and promotion of the rule of law, human rights and democracy through the use of all means and CoE’s mechanisms is and will be the most important thing for the Bosnian citizens.

“With my colleague co-rapporteur Mr Sobolev, I am available to give any assistance the BiH Parliament might ask for to overcome its problems in presenting a new delegation to PACE,” Kox concluded.

This omission has greatly damaged Bosnia’s international image, and it's unacceptable after all the efforts the country invested in its EU integration process, Bosnia’s Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak said.

He noted that this also shows that Bosnia is having difficulties fulfilling its international obligations, as well as a credibility and trust problem needed for its participation in international institutions.

Crnadak also said he regrets it came to this because Bosnia made a good image for itself in 2015 when it presided over the CoE.

Speaking about the reasons which led to this situation, Crnadak noted that this was the obligation of Bosnia’s Parliamentary Assembly, but added that the country would continue to participate in the work of other CoE bodies.

The Mission to Strasbourg was instructed to intensify its work in all EU structures and to be present on all regular weekly meetings.

According to the CoE rules, all member states must nominate new members of the PACE delegation no later than six months after the day of the election.

Otherwise, they will be a temporary suspended from participating in the work of the PACE.

Bosnia’s delegation to the PACE has 10 members.