Revisionism and genocide denial are not in line with the most fundamental European values and reconciliation is one of the key priorities Bosnia must fulfil in order to move forward in its EU integration, an EU Spokesperson told N1 after BiH’s international administrator imposed a law banning genocide denial on Friday.
“Let us be clear: Revisionism and genocide denial contradict the most fundamental European values,” the EU Spokesperson told N1, adding that reconciliation is one of the key priorities the European Commission has defined for Bosnia to meet in its efforts to achieve EU candidate status.
Only days before his term in Bosnia is ending, the High Representative of the international community, Valentin Inzko, used his special set of powers – the Bonn Powers – to impose the law.
The law changes that Inzko imposed stipulate prison sentences lasting between six months and five years for anybody who “publicly condones, denies, grossly trivializes or tries to justify a crime of genocide, crimes against humanity or a war crime.”
As of August 1, Germany’s Christian Schmidt will take over the Office of the High Representative (OHR) and continue the task of monitoring the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement in the country.
“The EU has been very clear on its expectations in this regard,” the spokesperson said, referring to a recent joint statement EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, and Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi, made in light of the 26th commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide.
“The EU expects Bosnia and Herzegovina leaders to act in a sovereign manner to take concrete steps and promote an environment conducive to reconciliation in order to overcome the legacies of the war,” the Spokesperson said.
“The EU is unequivocally committed to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The EU strongly calls on all political leaders to refrain from using inflammatory and divisive rhetoric, and from taking any steps which could undermine the country’s EU perspective.”