Zovko: European Parliament delegation must respect equidistant approach to BiH and follow recommendations of Parliament’s resolutions
Brussels, 12 January 2022
On 12 January, the European parliament’s Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo (DSEE) held an exchange of views on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the non-implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) related to political rights. During the discussions, MEPs listened to the personal testimonies of Dervo Sejdić, Jakob Finci and Azra Zornić in relation to their cases in the Strasbourg based court and their view on the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Member of the European Parliament and Vice Chair of the DSEE delegation Željana Zovko has described the meeting as one-sided and inappropriate and has insisted on the inclusion of a discussion on the judgment of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Ljubić case. “In December I have written a letter to the Chairman of the delegation, MEP Franz, to request the inclusion of an exchange of views on the implementation of Constitutional Court decision that is an essential element for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was told that the meeting would contain personal testimonies and I considered the discussion incomplete without the participation of Mr Ljubić regarding his case at the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, my proposal to invite Mr Ljubić and the President of the Constitutional Court of BiH, to the hearing of 12 January has been refused.” Zovko said, adding that she has submitted a new request following the latest meeting reiterating her appeal for the invitations to the next delegation meeting allowing the speakers to share their experiences and to provide an overview of the constitutional setup of BiH.
According to Zovko, the position of chairmanship of the DSEE delegation is being abused. “So far, my proposals have been refused. While I repeatedly called for an equidistant approach in the programming of the delegation’s activities, the chairman and the secretariat prefer to promote a one-sided position, even though the European Parliament has condemned this line in the resolutions of the European parliament on Bosnia and Herzegovina (resolutions adopted in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017). This practice is inacceptable and counterproductive in these highly sensitive times.”
Last year, Zovko and her Croatian colleagues have also written a letter of complaint to the late President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, regarding Franz’s defamation of Croatian politicians. In an official statement in his capacity as Chair of the DSEE delegation, Franz stated that it is obvious that certain political forces in EU Member State Croatia have a potential destabilising agenda in relation to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The President responded that he had reminded Mr Franz that official press statements should fully respect the positions adopted by the European Parliament in its resolutions and that, in case a personal opinion is voiced, this should be made clear.
Below you can find the communication sent by the President of the European Parliament on 6 January 2022:
I would like to thank you for the letter concerning the statement the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo of the 11th of November 2021.
Following your letter, I reminded the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo of the outmost importance of ensuring that press statements issued in the capacity of Chair or on behalf of a delegation, comply with the letter and the spirit of the rules of the European Parliament.
I referred in particular to the rules laid down in the Implementing provisions governing the work of delegations and missions outside the European Union, adopted by the Conference of Presidents (CoP) on the 29 of October 2015, as well as to the internal rules established at the level of the Conference of Delegation Chairs (CDC). These rules indicate that press statements should fully respect the positions adopted by the European Parliament in its resolutions and that, in case a personal opinion is voiced, this should be made clear.
I, therefore, express my confidence that these rules will be fully respected on future occasions.
David Maria SASSOLI