European People’s Party Calls for Electoral and Constitutional Reforms in BiH

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Image: EPP/Facebook screenshot
Image: EPP/Facebook screenshot

The “emergency resolution”, tabled by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) calls for “electoral reforms to be addressed swiftly in an inclusive manner while complying with the requirements of EU membership.”

As the largest group in the European Parliament the EPP believes that it is necessary to implement “electoral and constitutional reforms, in line with both EU principles and international and constitutional court decisions, which includes the equality of (Bosnia and Herzegovina’s) three constituent people, others and all citizens.”

As a positive example, the resolution cites the agreement between political parties to hold local elections in Mostar in December 2020 which, it says, underlined “the multicultural reality of BiH.”

The EPP welcomed a recent visit by European Council President Charles Michel to Sarajevo.

The resolution notes that “in the context of the drastically deteriorated security environment in Europe,” caused by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the Union “must prevent possible new negative scenarios and make efforts to steer the Southeast Europe towards accelerated acceptance of fundamental European values.”

The EPP condemned any questioning of BiH’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and any unconstitutional secessionist actions, calling for the blockade of state institutions to be lifted.

“The EPP supports political dialogue which must be given priority over blocking the most important political processes and reforms,” the resolution notes.

After an agreement was achieved on the text of the resolution, a number of media outlets in Sarajevo said on Tuesday evening that the term “legitimate representatives”, as proposed in the HDZ’s original draft, was removed, which they interpreted as a defeat of the policy pursued by the HDZ and the HDZ BiH.

The leaders of the largest Croat and Bosniak parties in BiH, Dragan Čović (HDZ BIH) and  Bakir Izetbegović (SDA) respectively, attended the conference.

Their parties are EPP candidates so their delegates could not vote, and both leaders expressed appreciation for the resolution but put emphasis on different elements.

“The EPP has called for an urgent reform of the election law in line with international rulings and decisions of the BiH Constitutional Court, including the equality of the three constituent peoples as a necessary precondition for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s political stability and European future,” Čović said on Tuesday, adding that the EPP remains to be a reliable partner to the HDZ BiH, the Fena news agency reported.

In a Twitter post on Tuesday Izetbegović thanked “friends and partners in the EPP for accepting our arguments and recognising, in the adopted resolution, the real priorities in BiH as well as clearly identifying the political actors who are blocking democratic processes in the country and its journey to the European Union.”

For more, check out our politics section.


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