Message to the Commissioner Johannes Hahn: The new initiative should bring a new approach

hahn1282014-300x199On the occasion of the visit of Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiation, the Initiative for Monitoring the European Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina calls:




We are witnesses that Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is in a constant blockade in the last eight years. All reform initiatives finished unsuccessfully.

Stefan Füle´s initiative to coordinate the process of the implementation of the Sejdić-Finci ruling in 2013 and at the beginning of 2014 turned into a closed, non-transparent negotiation between party leaders. Institutions in charge, that have been elected by the citizens, and primarily the BiH Parliamentary Assembly, lost their position in this process. The primary negotiation topic – the abolishment of the ethnic discrimination in the BiH political system – has been put aside, and the “dialogue between political party leaders” turned into negotiations about the “Croat issue”. When the failure of the process was declared, nobody was responsible and publicly criticized.

BH citizens expressed their opinion about politicians. The February protests have been a warning; with the General election results, some parties from the entire territory of BiH have been punished.

The German-British, or new European Initiative, the new approach of the European Union and its member states to unblock the accession process, and to put the focus on economic and social issues, beside the political reforms, is a new hope for BiH. But, having in mind the problems from the past, we are calling Commissionaire Johannes Hahn to transform the new initiative into a truthful new approach of the European Union towards BiH. We demand that:

  • Negotiation processes must take place with representatives of the governments and parliaments and not with political party leaders: as citizens, we have elected MPs to represent our interests. Together with the appointed ministers and prime ministers they should be your primary and only contact. Do not continue negations with party leaders and representatives, which in previous occasions has ruined all reform processes;
  • Civil society must become a true partner, a third actor in the negotiations: civil society should be integrated in all aspects of negotiations and integration and its role should be real partner role, and less a pro form obligation. Civil society must be a part of economic reforms, future political reform processes, in the Structured dialogue on rule of law matters. Civil society should not be invited at the end but from the beginning on;
  • Do not put aside political reform, democratization and human rights: even if the socio-economic reforms are needed and stated as one of the main priorities of bh. citizens, it is crucial to continue parallel with political reforms, the democratization of the political system and its institutions, the promotion of gender equality, the abolishment of discrimination of minority and marginalized groups. Economic prosperity is only possible if it is based on a democratic and inclusive society and state.