Sarajevo to host ministerial conference on Western Balkans’ EU accession

NEWS 25.06.202418:34 0 komentara

On Thursday, a ministerial-level conference on the accession of Western Balkan countries to the European Union, focusing on Negotiation Chapter 23, will be held in Sarajevo. We asked Davor Bunoza, the Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, about the conference's objectives, how Bosnia and Herzegovina will meet its obligations under this chapter, and how far the country is from opening negotiations with the EU given the complex political situation.

According to Bunoza, the conference will discuss the rule of law, the fight against corruption, and the protection of human rights.

“These are very important topics, especially since the EU's practice has changed. This is now the first chapter with which negotiations with the EU begin. What the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina want is to feel changes. The Minister of Justice of the Republic of Croatia, the Minister of Justice of Montenegro, the Deputy Minister of Justice of Albania, and the President of the Venice Commission will be present. We will try to see what awaits Bosnia and Herzegovina on the path to the EU regarding Chapter 23,” said Minister Bunoza, adding that the experiences of these countries will undoubtedly help Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He believes that the country must abandon negative rhetoric, as it has never brought any good to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Regarding the Ministry of Justice, he stated they will be dedicated exclusively to Bosnia and Herzegovina's European path.

Necessary judicial reforms

Speaking about the judiciary, Bunoza said he would prefer not to give an assessment, but if he had to, it would not be high.

“However, for the first time in the European report on Bosnia and Herzegovina's progress, it is mentioned that the judiciary has made progress in certain cases. Before, there was no progress at all,” he noted.

Bunoza believes judicial reform is essential.

“We are trying to adopt amendments to the HJPC (High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council) law. Some say the law is not being implemented, which is not true. For the first time, holders of judicial functions have an effective legal remedy available. Every candidate who was not selected as a judge or prosecutor has the right to present their case before a court for review. I regret that the department responsible for verifying the assets of judges and prosecutors is not yet operational. I hope that once the budget is adopted, we will resolve this issue,” said Minister Bunoza.

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