The American Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina condemned the adoption of the draft law on "foreign agents" stating that it is a restriction of the freedoms of the Republika Srpska residents and another in a series of steps towards authoritarianism.
“The RSNA’s recent adoption in the first reading of the draft Law on the Special Register and Transparency of Work of Non-Profit Organizations represents yet another move by the RS government to limit fundamental freedoms and civil liberties of residents of the RS. This legislation will place NGOs under increased pressure, make them vulnerable to prosecution for legitimate activities, and reduce their ability to provide important social services for the public,” the Embassy wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
They warned that the law pushes the RS toward greater authoritarianism and sacrifices the RS residents’ interests in a democratic and prosperous future to the narrow, selfish interests of an RS leadership intent on enriching themselves at the expense of the people they claim to represent.
The European Union also condemned the adoption of the said law, saying that it is against the fundamental principles of the Union.
“The EU is seriously concerned about the recent legislative initiatives and announcements in the Republika Srpska (RS) entity that run counter to the EU path of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the draft Law on the Special Registry and Publicity of the Work of Non-Profit Organisations labelling NGOs as “foreign agents” which has been now adopted in first reading by the Republika Srpska National Assembly.
The final adoption of the Law would directly contradict the repeated commitments of the Republika Srpska leadership to advance Bosnia and Herzegovina’s European integration, and specifically key priority 11 on civil society and key priority 12 on freedom of expression and of the media,” the EU said in a statement.
The RS parliament adopted the draft of the so-called “Law on Foreign Agents” Thursday. The legal solution, which envisages the establishment of a special register of non-profit organizations, received significant support from the authorities, with 48 MPs voting “in favour”, 11 “against”, and six MPs abstained.