For years, we have been hearing messages about how the European Union (EU) member states want Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to gain membership status. But the path is long and it seems thorny. According to some research, it could be said that there is no desire to acquire candidate status. To be precise, the Alternative Report on the Progress of BiH on the path to membership from last year was presented to the public. The data is shameful. Legislative and executive power in a state of blockade. Transfer of competencies from one level of government to another. The election process blocked. This is all a picture we are sending to those who want us as equal member of the EU.
The situation is frustrating, say the creators of the Alternative Report on the Progress of BiH on the Path to EU Membership, from year to year we are only regressing. Following the imposition of the Law on the Prohibition of Genocide Denial, blockades and the suspension of reform laws came into force. The blame lies with domestic politicians, but also with the international community.
“At a time when we don’t know if we will have elections when peaceful or any kind of divisions are mentioned again – someone from Brussels comes, takes pictures with these people, shakes hands, laughs, goes and eats cevapi, talking about how he has expectations from people who do everything so that doesn’t happen – that 14 priorities start to be adopted in a month or two,” noted Denis Carkadzic, researcher of the Association of Citizens Zasto ne and Istinomjer.
According to the data, we are not on the right track. Human rights have been neglected, nothing has been done in the field of legislation, and the rule of law is stagnating. So when it comes to the path to the EU we are – nowhere.
“We know that the law on conflict of interest has been in the process for five years, the law on the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC) as well, the law on public procurement… These are all topics that should regulate the rule of law, they all stagnate, and we can say are backward when we are looking at the results, especially of judicial institutions, ” stated Edo Kalinic, coordinator of the Initiative for Monitoring European Integration.
Dragana Dardic, coordinator in the Helsinki Citizens’ Parliament in Banja Luka, recalls: ”The medium-term program to combat discrimination at the time of writing was not sent to the BiH Council of Ministers for adoption, an action plan to improve the position of the LGBT community has not been adopted, we are seeing an increase in the number of trafficking in children, women’s rights also stagnate in some way.”
The state has not provided the conditions for the functioning of civil society. Hate speech comes from top government officials, and corruption thrives.
“I am pessimistic, I do not see any progress and that something will change in the foreseeable future. If we compare with the countries of the region, we are convincingly in the last place, absolutely at the back, in the worst position when it comes to the path to the EU,” warns Dardic.
But, believe it or not, there is progress in one field – very important on the road to integration. The issue of environmental protection, but only thanks to the citizens who opposed the construction of mini–hydropower plants, Federalna writes.