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Brussels, 11 April 2013
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle on political consultations on implementation of the Sejdić-Finci judgement
Commissioner Štefan Füle said today on arrival at the Delegation of the European Union/EU Special Representative Office:
"I am here to underline to Bosnia and Herzegovina's institutional and political leaders how urgent it is to implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Sejdić and Finci. I am glad to be joined by expert colleagues from the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission – which underlines Bosnia and Herzegovina's obligations to the Council of Europe.
This subject is vitally important to the EU. Compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights is of the highest importance for our Member States. And we believe that everyone should have the right to stand for election. This is a legal obligation of Bosnia and Herzegovina both towards the Council of Europe, and under its contract with the EU – the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. It is one of the pre-conditions for an application for EU membership to be taken into consideration.
We have been clear about the consequences of no progress. Without an agreement and then a Stabilisation and Association Agreement fully in force, Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU path would be frozen.
"As Secretary-General Jagland of the Council of Europe has stated on 9 April and I quote:
"Another election violating the European Convention on Human Rights would be unacceptable, seriously undermining the legitimacy and credibility of the country's elected bodies. This is the last thing Bosnia and Herzegovina's citizens need or deserve."
It would indeed be bad for the citizens of the country, who want a better future – especially at a time when other countries in the region are moving forward towards the EU. Bosnia and Herzegovina is at real risk of being left behind.
The political leadership here has not prioritised the EU agenda and translated its declared commitments on the EU into concrete action. This is very disappointing."