Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle after consultations with political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo (11th April) - The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Mr Štefan Füle, today met with the leaders of the main political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to discuss the implementation of the judgement of the European Court for Human Rights in the 'Sejdić-Finci' case. After today's meetings, Commissioner Füle noted with regret that the political parties have failed to make any meaningful progress for more than three years to implement the 'Sejdić-Finci' judgement. The Commissioner noted that the EU-led facilitation process has not led to tangible results due to the inability of the political leaders to turn declared commitment into concrete action. The Commissioner expressed regret that it was therefore necessary to cancel the third round of the High Level Dialogue on the Accession Process.
The Commissioner underlined that the issue of implementing the 'Sejdic-Finci' judgment remained on the table, and continues to grow bigger and more urgent. He added that as regards the larger political context of relations among different groups of citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina, of which the Sejdic-Finci judgement is one aspect, the best chance to address this is through the EU integration process. The Commissioner reiterated that continued engagement is necessary.
Commissioner Füle will now consult with High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton and the European Union Member States. He will also inform Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjørn Jagland about today's meetings.
Commissioner Füle regretted that some of the party leaders have focused exclusively on party and ethnic interests with the view of preserving and further strengthening the arrangements reserved to the three constituent peoples rather than implementing the 'Sejdić-Finci' judgment itself.
This lack of action from the party leaders as regards the EU agenda will clearly undermine Bosnia and Herzegovina's European integration process and the country's status as a credible partner to the European Union. Further general elections violating the European Convention on Human Rights would also be unacceptable, seriously undermining the legitimacy and the credibility of the country’s elected bodies.
Commissioner Füle regretted that the lack of genuine engagement from the political leaders to end the constitutional discrimination of many citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina,and bring the legislation in line with the European Convention on Human Rights, first and foremost hurts the citizens of the country.
Commissioner Füle recalled that credible efforts to implement the judgement are required to see Bosnia and Herzegovina's Stabilisation and Association Agreement put fully into force. The country needs to then implement the 'Sejdić-Finci'judgement if the country wants to be in a position to then submit a credible membership application to be considered by the EU. Until these conditions are fulfilled, it will not be possible to consider further steps for Bosnia and Herzegovina on its EU path.