Fule Hands Bosnian Leaders EU ‘Road Map’

The high-level dialogue between Bosnian leaders and the European Commissioner for Enlargement on June 27 in Brussels ended with the handing over of a ‘road map’ containing a list of obligations and deadlines.he head of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, Vjekoslav Bevanda, the state Prime Minister, along with prime ministers of the two entities and leaders of seven political parties received the so-called road map after taking part in the meeting with Stefan Fule, European Commissioner for Enlargement, on Wednesday in Brussels.Among political issues, a key topic was establishment of a functional coordination mechanism for European integration, which will determine the obligations and authorities of all institutions involved in the process.

“What needs to be done is for politicians to understand why a coordination mechanism is required”, Fule said, “What kinds of issues it needs to process and coordinate on, and then… they will need to find an agreement amongst themselves [on that].”

The Wednesday meeting took place on Fule’s initiative, with an aim of helping Bosnia move forward in the EU accession process by explaining the requirements and the methodology of accession negotiations to Bosnia’s decision-makers.

The road map contains a list of obligations and deadlines, which, if successfully implemented on time, could enable the country to submit a credible membership application to the EU before the end of the year.

The first obligation is implementation of Sejdic and Finci 2009 human rights ruling by November this year.

Dervo Sejdic and Jakob Finci, a Roma and a Jew, respectively, sued and won against Bosnia at the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, which ruled that the country should change its constitution to allow ethnic minorities run for the posts in the Presidency and the Parliament.

These are currently reserved for members of the three largest ethnic groups, Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs.

“[Sejdic-Finci implementation] is one of the essential elements to ensure a satisfactory track record in implementing Bosnia and Herzegovina’s obligations under the Stabilization and Association Agreement-Interim Agreement,” Fule said.

But the November 2012 deadline to resolve this issue could be just another deadline for the Bosnian authorities who have broken numerous deadlines of various kinds since the ECHR verdict in December 2009.

Meanwhile all levels of governments in the country need to engage in dialogue in order to agree on an effective coordination mechanism for engagement with the EU, which will enable Bosnia to speak with one voice, the joint conclusions said, giving a deadline for that of late October.

“Progress on these issues remains necessary before Bosnia and Herzegovina can expect to progress towards EU accession negotiations,” the Wednesday conclusions said.

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