Zovko: the draft report on BiH offers good steps forward to promote the needed reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Brussels, 25 January 2021
The Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs gathered today to discuss the draft report on the 2019-2020 Commission Reports on Bosnia and Herzegovina. After a presentation of the rapporteur, Paolo Rangel (EPP), several members took the floor followed by a reaction of the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS).
Željana Zovko, who chaired the session, stressed the importance of the EU’s commitment to the country. She referred to the recent events in the European Parliament on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement and said that this is a moment to take stock of the lessons learned.
Focusing on the report, Zovko asked for concrete actions to implement the proposal for constitutional changes. „We are all aware that Bosnia and Herzegovina is struggling to find a fine balance between collective, cultural and individual rights that we all require from this country in order to access the European Union. The proposals by the rapporteur are a good step forward and the European Parliament could play the role as facilitator“ Zovko stated.
Zovko also referred to the recent elections in Mostar and the badly organised fashion in which they took place. She called on the Commission to update the Parliament on the ongoing election procedure. In addition, according to the Chair, Bosnia and Herzegovina is unable to fight the migration crisis, a severe peace and security issue, on its own. Zovko said that a stronger European involvement and more help to the Bosnia and Herzegovinian authorities are expected. Finally, Zovko also commented that the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina urgently need access to sufficient supplies of the Covid-19 vaccines and called on European support.
In the statement by the EEAS, the need for in-depth reconciliation as the way forward towards the needed reforms was reiterated. According to the speaker of the EEAS, a decentralised governance structure is compatible with EU membership, but the institutions have to work effectively in order to administer the competences. As there will be no elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina this year, the country faces an opportunity to make the necessary reforms, including the implementation of court decisions and the decisions of the constitutional court.