Stefan Fule in Sarajevo: issue of implementation of “Sejdić-Finci” ruling remains open

3By: Nevena Šarenac

The European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule announced yesterday in Sarajevo that the issue of the implementation of the “Sejdić-Finci” ruling remains open and is of vital importance and urgency.

After the meeting with representatives of the seven leading political parties in BiH, FUle said that he called on them to think about how to re-engage in this process.

“I regret to say that for more than three years, political parties have not been able to achieve any significant progress to implement the “Sejdić-Finci” ruling. The process in which the European Commission has provided assistance did not lead to tangible results due to the inability of political leaders to turn promises into concrete actions’’, said Fule to journalists after the meeting in the building of the EU Delegation to BiH.

The European Commissioner for Enlargement expressed regret that he had to cancel the third round of dialogue on the process of accession of BiH at a high level, stressing that the issue of implementing “Sejdić-Finci” remains open, but this time there are no deadlines.

He pointed out that he would inform the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security Catherine Ashton, EU member states and the General Secretary of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland of yesterday’s consultations with representatives of the leading BiH political parties.

“Catherine Ashton and EU member states will make a decision on how to engage in resolving this issue. I hope that the decision of the EU, regardless of what it will be, will contribute to finding a resolution’’, said Fule.

He pointed out that some party leaders based their stance on resolving this issue on party and ethnic interests.

“I regret to say that some party leaders focused solely on party and ethnic interests in order to maintain and further strengthen the arrangements that are reserved for three constituent peoples instead of implement the decision of the European Court for Human Rights’’, said Fule.

The Commissioner for EU Enlargement pointed out the absence of action by party leaders with regard to the accession process would clearly undermine the process of European integration to BiH and the status of the country as a credible partner of the EU.

“Another election that is contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights would be unacceptable and would seriously undermine the credibility and legitimacy of elected representatives of the country”, said Fule.

He also regretfully concluded that the lack of sincere engagement of political leaders to eliminate constitutional discrimination on many citizens of BiH and the harmonization of regulations with the European Convention on Human Rights only serves to harm the citizens of BiH.

Fule reiterated that credible efforts to implement the ruling in the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg are still necessary in order for the Stabilization and Association Agreement to enter fully into force so that the country would be in a position to submit a credible application for membership that would then be considered by the EU.

“As long as these conditions are not met, it would not be possible to consider further steps for BiH on its European path’’, he added.

Fule called on BiH political parties to consider how to re-engage in the process that is so critical to the future of BiH.

During his stay in Sarajevo, Commissioner Fule also met with members of the BiH Presidency Bakir Izetbegović and Željko Komšić and Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers Vjekoslav Bevanda.

Commissioner Fule held a meeting yesterday with leaders of political parties and BiH institutions in Sarajevo, instead of in Mostar where he was scheduled to attend a dialogue meeting at a high level. He cancelled the meeting due to the failure of the implementation of the “Sejdić-Finci” ruling.

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