EU MEP Tineke Strik, along with other MEPs, sent a letter to EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhely requesting action against Milorad Dodik, a member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, for boycotting necessary reforms in the country, undermining the rule of law and harming the country’s EU accession process.
“I call on the Commission to ensure that these unacceptable actions have their financial consequences, Strik said in her address.
“As shadow rapporteurs in the European Parliament for the country's 2020 progress report, we write to you to express our deep concern over the current situation and recent developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially regarding the boycott of all important state institutions by the BiH Presidency member from the entity of Republika Srpska (RS), but also by other political representatives from Republika Srpska,” stated the letter addressed to Commissioner Varhelyi.
Through their unwillingness to participate in any work of state institutions and non-recognition of the High Representative's legitimate decision, the Republika Srpska political leadership undermines BiH's democratic state structures and its Constitution contained in the Dayton Accords, jeopardizing the overall stability of the country and the region, the MEPs stated.
They noted that the Regulation (COD) establishing the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III) provides for conditionality of funding related to the country's performance in areas of the rule of law, fundamental rights and democratic institutions reforms, stating that in the event of significant regression or persistent lack of progress with the “basics,” the scope and intensity of assistance should be adjusted accordingly.
“Since the entity of Republika Srpska also benefits financially through IPA III funds, we believe that this boycott should trigger the relevant provisions of the said Regulation,” they wrote.
As the Regulation (COD) does not provide for any specific procedure by which the European Parliament could initiate such a suspension of funds, they urge the Commissioner to consider the suspension of all funds through the IPA III program, of which the RS is a direct and sole beneficiary, until the boycott ends.
The letter was signed by Tineka Strik (Greens / EFA), Dietmar Koester (S&D) and Klemen Grošelj (Renew Europe).