Bosnian leaders accept agreement ensuring country's functionality and EU path

NEWS 12.06.2022 23:50
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The leaders of the political parties represented in the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina accepted after a lengthy meeting with the senior officials of the European Union an agreement by which, among other things, they reiterate their commitment to preserving and building a peaceful, stable, sovereign and independent functional Bosnia and Herzegovina, and express their commitment to the country's European integration.

The document titled ‘Political agreement on principles for ensuring a functional Bosnia and Herzegovina that advances on the European path‘ was accepted by 12 participants of the meeting, while two refrained – PDP leader Branislav Borenovic and DNS leader Nenad Nesic. The meeting was not attended by leaders of HDZ BiH Dragan Covic, SBB BiH Fahrudin Radoncic and SDS Mirko Sarovic.

According to the document published on the European Council's website, the leaders of political parties represented in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliamentary Assembly reiterate their commitment to:

preserving and building a peaceful, stable, sovereign and independent functional European state of Bosnia and Herzegovina comprised of Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs as constituent peoples (along with Others), and  citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which consists of two entities and Brcko District, established in line with the Constitution and the General Framework Agreement for Peace;

upholding the principle of the rule of law and conduct free and democratic elections as well as develop democratic institutions at all levels of government/authority;

the principles and values underlying the European Union and democratic societies andto Bosnia and Herzegovina’s future within the European Union;

They underline the importance of the implementation of reforms that advance Bosnia and Herzegovina’s European integration, namely the 14 Key Priorities set out in the Commission Opinion,

Participants reiterate the Joint statement of the members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement.

They recognise the importance of the political moment and responsibility towards all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, bearing in mind the “United Nations General Assembly resolution ES‑11/1 on the aggression against Ukraine”, adopted on 2 March 2022 (The representatives from Republika Srpska call for a discussion and adoption of a decision in the BiH Presidency on the situation in Ukraine)

To achieve these objectives, participants agree that it is essential to strengthen trust, dialogue, compromise building, and work towards peace and mutual respect  among all peoples and citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The political party leaders and the members of the Presidency:

1. Are committed to the prosperity, democratic functioning, and security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and pledge to constructively undertake necessary reforms to safeguard and advance these objectives.

2. Underline the importance of  the extension of the EUFOR Althea executive mandate and its continued presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina to maintain a safe and secure environment.

3. Are committed to full adherence to all final and binding international and domestic court decisions, and working constructively together towards their good faith implementation, with the objective of ensuring compliance with European standards.

4. Shall take all necessary steps for the General Elections 2022 to be organised efficiently and conducted in an orderly manner, with necessary means. The parties shall conduct the election campaign fairly, constructively, and free from divisive and hateful rhetoric.

5. Shall cooperate constructively after the vote to ensure the swift formation of new legislative and executive authorities at all levels of government in line with the legally prescribed deadlines.

6. Shall work decisively towards fulfilling the 14 key priorities of the Commission’s Opinion on the country’s application for EU membership, in order to advance on the EU path and to respond to the aspirations of the people.

7. Shall in this context, aim to urgently and no later than within 6 months from the formation of all authorities adopt:

8. Law on Bosnia and Herzgovina High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) and Law on Courts;

9. Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest;

10. Public Procurement law;

11. electoral reforms and those limited constitutional reforms needed to ensure full compliance with the judgements of the European Court of Human Rights and the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitutional Court, Venice Commission recommendations and OSCE/ODIHR and GRECO recommendations;

12. measures to fully restore regular policy dialogue with the EU, including through the SAA structures and take all necessary steps for the country to benefit from EU funds under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III), including by timely ratifying the Financial Framework and Partnership Agreement.

13. Furthermore, with the aim for Bosnia and Herzegovina to deliver on a critical mass of reforms and advance decisively on its EU path, agree to take steps:

14. to ensure fully functioning institutions at Bosnia and Herzegovina level and ensure that decisions in line with Bosnia and Herzegovina level competences are taken at that level, and to undertake constructive dialogue following the elections on fundamental issues concerning the functioning of the country, including adoption of country-wide strategies in areas of shared competences, in line with the key priority requiring to ensure legal certainty on the distribution of competences across levels of government;

15. to strengthen the prevention and fight against corruption and organised crime, including by ensuring that law enforcement and judiciary can operate independently and have all the necessary means to  establish a track record of proactive investigations, confirmed indictments, prosecutions and final convictions, including at high-level.

16. towards improving the overall functioning of the public administration by ensuring professional and depoliticised civil service.

17. Pursue Bosnia and Herzegovina’s alignment with the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy including implementation and cooperation in the areas covered by the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, in accordance with Article 10 of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

18. Are committed to take concrete steps to promote an environment conducive to reconciliation in order to overcome the legacies of the war, in line with key priorities and with the Joint statement of the members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement.

19. Welcome the EU’s active support and dialogue-facilitation, confidence- and trust-building towards completion of the actions above.

Agreed by the following participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina: Petar Djokic (SP), Milorad Dodik (SNSD, member of the Presidency), Sefik Dzaferovic (SDA, chair of the Presidency), Edin Forto (NS), Bakir Izetbegovic (SDA), Elmedin Konakovic (NiP), Zeljko Komsic (DF, member of the Presidency), Nermin Niksic (SDP), Nermin Ogresevic (NES), Elzina Piric (PDA), Senad Sepic (NB), Nenad Stevandic (US).

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