EU's Borrell urges Bosnia's political actors to swiftly set up government

NEWS 05.10.2022 18:16
Source: AFP

The European Union welcomes the holding of general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, High Representative Josep Borrell said on Wednesday, stressing that ensuring that elections are conducted in line with European standards is a key priority set out in the European Commission Opinion on Bosnia's EU membership application. He called on political actors to take full responsibility and to swiftly set up governments at all levels to focus on reforms on the EU path.

“According to the preliminary findings and conclusions of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission, the elections were overall competitive and well organised, but marked by mistrust of citizens in public institutions and ethnically divisive rhetoric,” Borrell said in a statement, days after the elections were held.

He emphasised that the EU encourages the relevant authorities to address allegations of irregularities in order to ensure the highest confidence in the election results and the election administration.

“Citizens of BiH exercised their democratic right to vote for the authorities, who will now have the responsibility to deliver on the people’s aspirations, including on EU integration and economic prosperity and coping with the negative global impact of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” he underlined.

Borrell also commented on the decision that the international community's High Representative in BiH Christian Schmidt passed on the election day, amending the Election Law of BiH and the Constutution of Bosnia's Federation entity., noting that the EU “takes note” of that decision and reminding that his executive powers should be used “solely as a measure of last resort against irreparable unlawful acts.”

Following the verification of results of the elections, Borrell stressed, the EU expects all political actors to take full responsibility and cooperate to swiftly set up functioning legislatures and governments at State, entity and cantonal levels to focus on reforms on the EU path, to which BiH’s party leaders committed in Brussels on 12 June, including constitutional and electoral reform.

“To this end, the EU calls for a spirit of cooperation among Bosnia and Herzegovina’s newly elected leaders,” he added.

Finally, he reminded of the European Council's conclusions from June 23, which said it was ready to grant candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina and (to that aim it) invited the Commission to report on the implementation of the 14 key priorities with special attention to those which constitute a substantial set of reforms.

“The EU reiterates its unequivocal commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU perspective as a single, united and sovereign country,” he underlined.

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