Zovko: By asking for electoral reforms, the Council sends a clear message to the leaders in BiH
Brussels, 17 December 2020,
The Council of the European Union adopted its conclusion on enlargement and stabilisation and association process in the Western Balkans. The Member States reiterated the EU’s unequivocal support to the European perspective of the Western Balkans, which remains a key policy of the European Union. The Council also expressed its determination to strengthen and intensify its engagement at all levels to support the region’s political, economic and social transformation.
For Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Council calls for an inclusive process of electoral reform. This should happen through genuine dialogue and in line with European standards, that would eliminate all forms of inequality and discrimination in the electoral process. The Council also underlines that no legislative or political step should be taken which would make the implementation of the Sejdić-Finci ruling and related ECtHR rulings more challenging.
Vice Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, Željana Zovko welcomes the Council conclusions. “On many occasions, the European Parliament has declared this message before. With this conclusion, the Council openly joins the other European institutions. Together we send a clear message to the political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina that electoral reforms are needed for the benefit of their citizens and to ensure their European future.” Zovko said
Zovko stated that this conclusion effectively calls for three electoral units as the only way to combine the specific set up of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to fully respect the principle of non-discrimination outlined in Sejdić-Finci case. “Now is the time to follow the EU experience and examples such as the Belgian case and finally move from this compromise from the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement to a Brussels phase. Bosnia and Herzegovina should become a fully federal state that will accommodate all constituent communities with their citizens.” Zovko stated.
The Council also welcomed that the elections in Mostar upcoming Sunday will take place, for the first time in 12 years. Zovko said that this shows the possibility to find a solution on these important matters. She also said that in the same spirit as the compromise concluded to organise these elections in Mostar, a solution should be found for BiH’s electoral reform.