EU’s Eichhorst: Bosnia has a historic opportunity to get closer to EU membership

NEWS 17.03.2022 13:54
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Source: N1 / Ivan Hrstić

Bosnian citizens know what is being discussed between the local and international officials regarding the election reform and everything that gets agreed on must be acceptable to the Venice Commission in its entirety, managing director for Europe and Central Asia at the European External Action Service Angelina Eichhorst said Thursday on the occasion of another round of talks on BIH Election law reforms.

“I’m happy to be back in Sarajevo. Yesterday, I had the honor of accompanying High Representative Borrell on his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. High Representative Borrell wanted to convey first-hand the EU’s clear message of shared responsibility, the urgency of working for peace and stability and respect for all the values on which our cooperation is based,” she said at the beginning of her address.

She added that more than ever now, while Russia’s aggression against Ukraine continues, we need to be united and condemned Russia’s invasion of the sovereign country of Ukraine.

“Borrell has made the preservation of peace the number one priority for leaders. He called on them to work on changes to the Bosnian Constitution and Election Law that will enable all Bosnian citizens to vote and be elected. In this context, the integrity of this election process is very important, thus he called on the leaders to work on it,” Eichhorst said.

According to her, Borrell has given clear instructions to international officials working on reform processes in Bosnia.

“He sent very clear guidelines for future action to me and Ambassador Sattler to continue to assist, in cooperation with our American counterparts, in the process of harmonizing an appropriate legal framework that will without delay enhance citizens’ confidence in democratic processes and peace and security,” the EU envoy said.

The Director of the European External Action Service then commented on the importance of reforming the electoral process in Bosnia.

“The citizens of this country are familiar with the packages that are being negotiated, I will emphasize that the package should be accepted in its entirety by the Venice Commission. Representatives of the commission will be present with us in the coming days. Reaching an agreement on the election law will be important, I repeat important, to bringing BiH closer to the EU candidate status. That is why this is a historic opportunity not to be missed. Citizens are working hard to offer recommendations, they have been working hard for the past two weeks. The recommendations of the citizens that came through this format are a real inspiration for all of us, with that inspiration we are entering into negotiations with political leaders today, ” Eichhorst said after the citizens’ assembly she attended before the beginning of the talks, where citizens presented their suggestions to the Election Law reform.

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