European Parliament adopts Report on BiH, warns about RS entity's activities

NEWS 06.07.2022 14:44
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Evropski parlament
Source: Evropski parlament (Ronald Wittek/Pool via REUTERS)

The European Parliament adopted the 2021 Report on Bosnia and Herzegovina and reiterated the country's European perspective, urged BiH political leaders to implement reforms and warned about the issue of the electoral law and the harmful policies of the leadership in BiH’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity.

“MEPs reconfirm their support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Euro-Atlantic orientation. However, they strongly denounce all hate rhetoric and disruptive action, including the withdrawal from and obstruction of state institutions, notably by the leadership of the Republika Srpska entity. They urge all political actors to return unconditionally to these state institutions and advance the work on EU-related reforms, notably the rule of law,” an EP statement said.

The report was adopted by MEPs with 479 votes in favour, 81 against and 75 abstentions and “stresses the importance of holding general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2022 as scheduled, as well as implementing the results.”

“Calling for the elimination of all forms of inequality, discrimination and bias in the electoral process, MEPs regret the lack of political will to overcome the impasse in the negotiations on constitutional and electoral reforms, and the failure to implement them ahead of this year’s elections,” the statement said.

The report urges all political actors in the country to implement the commitments from the political agreement reached which representatives of most BiH parties in the parliament agreed in Brussels on 12 June 2022.

“In light of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, MEPs also call on Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement the EU sanctions the country has aligned with and warn of Russia’s continuing interest in destabilising Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the statement said.

“After a year of political deadlock and escalatory secessionist movements, the political agreement reached in Brussels on 12 June 2022 and the most recent Council Conclusions declaring readiness to grant candidate country status to BiH are strong signs of the EU’s commitment to the European and Euro-Atlantic future of the country. Our report further reaffirms Parliament’s support for the European aspiration of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while addressing the main challenges the country still faces. These are namely the destabilising activities and the blocking of state institutions by the leadership of Republika Srpska, which must be sanctioned, and the impasse in electoral and constitutional reforms”, said EP rapporteur Paulo Rangel.

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