Brussels, 7 March 2013
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Outstanding issues on the EU agenda
The key priorities for the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the EU integration process were discussed at a meeting of Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle with the Speaker of the Republika Srpska (RS) National Assembly Igor Radojićić in Brussels today.
"We had good discussions on the urgent need to move Bosnia and Herzegovina forward in the European integration process and on the positive role that Republika Srpska as one of the two entities of the country can play in this regard. There are outstanding issues which require further efforts," Commissioner Füle said after the meeting. "The entry into force of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU is within reach. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina must now bring its Constitution into compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights in line with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the Sejdić-Finci case."
Commissioner Füle also stressed that an agreed coordination mechanism for EU matters needs to be established as a matter of urgency and expects that both entities show compromise when it comes to the technical details of this arrangement. The successful establishment of this coordination mechanism will ensure that EU rules and standards will be implemented equally across the country and that EU financial assistance will support agreed priorities.
He noted also that it was essential that all authorities throughout BiH provide effective follow-up to the recommendations issued under the EU-BiH Structured Dialogue on Justice. He commended the agreement on the Law on the Courts of RS, which is now in the legislative procedure in the RS National Assembly. He expects that the RS National Assembly will endorse the harmonised text.
Commissioner Füle concluded the meeting by reaffirming the EU's commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina's European future. "The EU will continue to assist Bosnia and Herzegovina on its European path. But Bosnia and Herzegovina's political representatives have to do their part."