Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative in BiH, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, handed over on Wednesday the report on BiH to the Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdic.
During the meeting, Wigemark stressed that there are good news for BiH in fulfilling the three conditions.
“These good news are improvement in the context of an application for membership in February this year, the implementation of the Reform Agenda, including the adoption of the coordination mechanism and the Stabilisation and Association Agreement in the segment of trade. The report highlights the positive steps that have been achieved. Examples of strategies in the sector of transport, publishing census results, the adoption of the Law on combating discrimination which we pointed out as the most advanced legislation in the entire region”, Wigemark said and added that all this made the way for BiH to obtain the questionnaire as a further step to EU.
He announced that BiH next month, on December 9, should receive a questionnaire from the EU.
Wigemark however, emphasized that the report does not only have good points, as there are some areas where it is necessary to criticize the country leaders.
“The first such area is the the freedom of media and freedom of expression. In this area over a period of the past year was no progress, and there are movements in the opposite direction. Another area without progress in this year is the reform of public administration”, Wigemark pointed out.
Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers, Denis Zvizdic, said that he is certain that the perspective of the country is the EU, that european BiH will win and that it will get over tensions and politicking.
“This report is more positive than report we received in 2015. I am especially happy to see that report consider the Council of Ministers and our entity colleagues as generators of european processes and all activities which dynamize BiH path to european integrations. That proactive role is also an additional obligation”, Zvizdic said.
In the report EU said that the electoral legislation in BiH has been improved, with a number of OSCE-ODIHR recommendations being followed and local elections organised broadly in an orderly manner, despite incidents in some municipalities which need to be investigated. Despite efforts to resolve the Mostar issue, elections could not take place there this year.
“The BiH Parliamentary Assembly and the entities’ parliaments made progress towards adopting outstanding reform priorities, in particular those stemming from the Reform Agenda. Cooperation between state-level, entity-level and Brčko district parliaments has improved. However their role and capacities in the EU integration process need to be further improved. Cooperation between the BiH Council of Ministers and the entities’ governments was effective as regards the Reform Agenda, the implementation of which needs to continue. The coordination mechanism on EU matters was adopted by the Council of Ministers in August. A strategic programme for the country’s legal approximation with the EU acquis has yet to be adopted”, is emphasized in the report.
As it was said, BiH’s constitution remains in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, as per the ruling in the Sejdić-Finci case. Constitutional Court decisions have yet to be fully enforced throughout the country.
As regards economy, the report mentions that BiH is still at an early stage in developing a functioning market economy.
“Some progress has been made in modernising the labour legislation, improving the business environment and addressing weaknesses in the financial sector in the framework of the agreed Reform Agenda. However, the public sector is inefficient and private sector development is slow. Strong and continuing political support for the swift implementation of much-needed structural reforms, in line with the agreed Reform Agenda, will be key”, is emphasized in the EU report./IBNA