Adamson: Authorities in BiH to translate commitments into concrete reforms

European flags in front of EP Building in Strasbourg; Photo: European Union

NEW YORK – “The European Union calls on the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina to step up efforts regarding the functioning and the independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and organised crime,” Joanne Adamson, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to UN explained in a statement on behalf of the EU and its Member States at the Security Council debate on ‘The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina’.

She thanked the Security Council for unanimously adopting the respective resolution renewing the mandate of EUFOR Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina for one year.

“This decision followed the commitment and readiness by Bosnia and Herzegovina to take difficult political decisions in order to deliver on the country’s EU integration path, including ensuring further meaningful progress in the implementation of the Reform Agenda, an ambitious set of socio-economic, rule of law and public administration reforms,” Adamson explained, adding that the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina at all levels of governance, including in both of the country’s entities, need to translate commitments into concrete reforms in order to move the country forward on its EU integration path.

However, she stated that the EU regrets that divisive rhetoric rooted in the past, which for most of 2017, slowed down the pace of reforms and affected the political climate.

“The initial implementation of the Reform Agenda has provided the first steps of structural adjustments to the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina but much remains to be done. Delays in the signature of the Transport Community Treaty – belatedly signed last September – and continuing uncertainty around the adoption of excise legislation, to name only two issues, have undermined the possibility for the Country to receive further international financial assistance,” she said.

Adamson added that the European Union calls on the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina to step up efforts regarding the functioning and the independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and organised crime as well as the fight against terrorism and the prevention of radicalisation.

“The EU also reiterates our calls on all levels of governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure the effectiveness of the coordination mechanism, including for the purpose of ensuring harmonised and consolidated answers to the Commission’s Opinion Questionnaire. In this respect, Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to continue the work done to answer the Questionnaire,” Adamson said.

“The European Union reiterates its unequivocal commitment to the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a single, united and sovereign country,” she concluded.