BiH rapporteur Rangel's motion for European Parliament resolution

NEWS 16.03.2023 14:57

Paulo Rangel, the European Parliament’s rapporteur for Bosnia and Herzegovina, published his motion for the European Parliament Resolution, in which he points out that granting EU candidate status is "a wake-up call to the country's political leadership, which must move away from its own interests and start working for the benefit of all citizens of BiH, and finally achieve much-needed reforms".

Rangel's motion for resolution, made on the basis of last year's report of the European Commission on Bosnia and Herzegovina, consists of 38 points.

Commitment to EU accession

1. The European Parliament welcomes the European Council's decision to grant candidate status to BiH; reiterates its clear support for BiH’s EU integration, grounded in unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity;

2. Welcomes the swift appointment of a new state-level government, the resumption of political decision-making and the appointment of the President and two Vice-Presidents of the Federation of BiH; calls for the Federation of BiH’s government formation to be swiftly completed;

3. Encourages all authorities to seize the momentum to meaningfully advance on the 14 key priorities and avoid slipping back into obstructive policies; underscores that BiH’s path towards EU accession needs to be anchored in functioning democratic institutions, rule of law, the fight against corruption and organised crime, respect for fundamental rights and non-discrimination for all citizens and constituent peoples as enshrined in the constitution;

4. Calls on the Commission and the European External Action Service to continue supporting BiH’s EU integration based on strict conditionality;

5. Reaffirms its support for the mandates of the Office of the High Representative and EUFOR Operation Althea in overseeing the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement;

6. Welcomes BiH’s increased alignment with the EU’s common foreign and security policy (CFSP), and urges for the effective implementation of sanctions stemming from CFSP alignment;

7. Supports BiH’s sustained aspirations towards Euro-Atlantic integration and NATO membership;

8. Denounces the recurring inflammatory rhetoric and secessionist policies by the leadership of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity, including the celebration of the so-called RS Day; underlines that such actions destabilise BiH, undermine the Dayton Peace Agreement, contradict BiH’s EU perspective and endanger access to EU funding;

9. Reiterates its call for targeted sanctions against destabilising actors in BiH;

10. Condemns malign foreign interference by third actors in BiH, notably Russia’s destabilisation of the Western Balkans;

11. Stresses that the rule of law, good governance, pluralism and fundamental rights need to be mainstreamed in IPA III funding, which must be based on strict conditionality; recalls that EU funding for projects in the RS entity should remain frozen until the reversal of democratic backsliding by the RS entity and until full alignment with the CFSP;

12. Urgently calls on BiH to engage in regular inter-parliamentary cooperation through the Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee;

Democracy and the rule of law

13. Reiterates the central role of the rule of law and institutional integrity; recalls the need for harmonised, merit-based civil service standards;

14. Welcomes the fact that the general elections held in October 2022 were generally well organised and competitive; notes however that they took place against a backdrop of stagnant reforms, divisive rhetoric and political obstruction; takes note of the changes introduced by the High Representative to the election law and constitution of the Federation of BiH, aimed at addressing a number of functionality issues;

15. Regrets the failure of political actors to bring the constitution and the electoral framework in line with the European Convention on Human Rights; calls on all decision-makers to reach an agreement in line with the verdicts of international and domestic courts, as well as the political agreement of 12 June 2022; supports limited, transparent and inclusive reforms that would enable a sustainable transformation of the Dayton Peace Agreement;

16. Calls on BiH to harmonise party registration rules and to ensure the transparency of political party financing; acknowledges the steps taken by the Central Election Commission and calls for its capacities to be strengthened;

17. Calls for the judiciary’s integrity and independence to be strengthened, namely by bringing the Law on the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council and the Law on Courts in line with EU standards, and by eliminating selective justice, the case backlog, corruption, a lack of transparency and poor oversight;

18. Expresses its concern about the lack of progress on preventing widespread corruption and the increasing signs of state capture, political interference and obstruction; urges BiH to adopt conflict of interest laws and to strengthen protection for whistleblowers;

19. Calls for increased resources for anti-corruption structures; points to the added value of effective cooperation among law enforcement agencies and with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office;

20. Notes the steps taken to increase the alignment of public procurement laws with the EU acquis; expresses its concern about the sector’s vulnerabilities to corruption and irregularities;

Reconciliation and good neighbourly relations

21. Reaffirms the significance of reconciliation in BiH and calls on all authorities to actively promote and ensure access to truth, justice and non-selective reparations;

22. Expresses its solidarity with all survivors of war crimes and their families; deplores all historical revisionism, including genocide denial, the glorification of war crimes and war criminals, and the contestation of established facts and tribunals; calls for effective prosecution of such cases;

23. Notes the ongoing reduction in the backlog of war crimes cases, but regrets that the pace remains slow;

24. Calls for further efforts on the issue of missing persons;

25. Welcomes BiH’s active participation in regional cooperation; welcomes the recent agreements in the context of the Berlin Process;

Fundamental freedoms and human rights

26. Emphasises the vital role of independent media; condemns attacks on and threats and intimidation against journalists, including by politicians and public figures; insists on appropriate judicial follow-up and the protection of journalists;

27. Deplores discrimination, segregation, violence and hate speech against minorities, and urges effective prosecution of such cases; calls on BiH to safeguard and promote the countrywide rights of all minorities;

28. Regrets that rulings of the European Court of Human Rights have still not been implemented;

29. Underscores the importance of inclusive and quality education; reiterates its call for an urgent end to the discriminatory practice of ‘two schools under one roof’;

30. Recognises the key role of civil society; calls on the authorities to foster a conducive environment for their work; calls for the protection and promotion of the freedom of assembly and of expression to be enhanced;

31. Reiterates the need for solidarity-based migration and asylum management and a fair distribution of reception capacities; welcomes the opening of negotiations on BiH’s upgraded status agreement with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency; regrets persisting shortcomings in migration and border management; calls on BiH to fully align with the EU’s visa policy;

Socioeconomic reforms

32. Welcomes the adoption of a public financial management reform strategy and calls for
its thorough implementation;

33. Urges BiH to prioritise measures aimed at improving competitiveness and the business environment, boosting economic diversification and tax harmonisation, promoting the digital and green transitions, addressing the informal economy and tackling unemployment;

34. Urgently calls for measures to address the continued high degree of brain drain; stresses the importance of developing the Youth Guarantee in the Western Balkans;

Energy, environment, sustainable development and connectivity

35. Welcomes the Commission’s energy support package for the Western Balkans; recommends strengthening BiH’s integration into the European energy market;

36. Urges BiH to finalise and adopt the national energy and climate plan; calls on it to adopt the necessary legislation on gas, electricity, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and to ensure the full harmonisation of laws for a functional energy market;

37. Calls on BiH to accelerate its implementation of projects under the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans and the Green Agenda;

38. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the Presidency, Council of Ministers and Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the governments and parliaments of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republika Srpska and the Brčko District, the governments of the ten cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Office of the High Representative.


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