Fule Downbeat on Bosnia’s EU Integration

EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule says Bosnia did not take the key steps that were needed for it to submit a credible EU membership application.Following the second High-Level Dialogue on Bosnia’s EU integration process, the Enlargement Commissioner, Stefan Fule, said Bosnia had not met its main commitments undertaken at the first meeting in June in Brussels, but praised its commitment.

The June “Road Map” is a plan of steps, with clear deadlines, to which Bosnian officials had to agree before they could submit a credible EU membership application by the end of the year.

“There is still no political agreement on implementation of the Sejdic-Finci ruling, and a model of coordination mechanism of all levels of government on EU matters has not been submitted, so it is clear that this will delay the EU integration of your country,” Fule noted.

He was referring firstly to the 2009 European Court of Human Rights ruling, which told Bosnia to change its constitution in order to allow ethnic minorities to run for top governing posts that are currently reserved for members of the three largest ethnic groups, Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.

The establishment of a coordination mechanism for European integration should determine the obligations of all institutions in Bosnia involved in the process incouding the state government and the two autonomous entities.

So far, the state government has formed a team to draw up an efficient coordination mechanism but the task is still not finished.

“The EU membership perspective remains realistic but the tasks ahead did not change, the June 27 Road Map remains valid,” Fule added.

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers, [the Prime Minister] Vjekoslav Bevanda, said much had been done establish the coordination mechanism but some issues remained.

Meanwhile the Bosnian Serb leader, Milorad Dodik, said that the integration task has to respect the decentralized system of decision-making in Bosnia.

“The [EU integration] mechanism has to respect the constitutional system of the country,” Dodik said. “That means supporting the decentralized system in Bosnia.

“I want this process to finish as soon as possible,” he added. “Then we could get rid of Office of the High Representative… which should be abolished because it is disturbing the stability in the country.”

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