Terry Reintke: Civil Society Must be Engaged in the New BiH Ombudspersons Selection Process

Terry ReintkeTerry Reintke, the European Parliament MP, and the member of Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, visited Sarajevo yesterday. As a part of her visit, she met with the civil society organisations representatives who comprise the Initiative for Monitoring the EU Integration Process in BiH, and with the representatives of BiH Parliamentary Assembly Joint Committee for Human Rights, FBiH Justice Minister Mato Jozić and the Minister for Human Rights and Refugees, Semiha Borovac.

Reintke expressed her interest for the new, intensified EU approach to BiH’s EU integration, emphasizing the role of Parliament in this process. Important topics that will have the attention of the European Parliament are the questions of rule of law, anti-corruption, freedom of expression and media, and minority rights.

Having in mind the recent developments regarding the new BiH Ombudsman selection process, Terry Reintke says: «The Institution of BiH Human Rights Ombudsman is of central importance for the civil society organisations because this institution opens democratic processes and minority rights issues that are still taboo in some countries. The Ombudsman Institution has to intensify its work on the rights of socially marginalized and excluded groups, such as Roma, and LGBT people.»

Reintke holds the opinion that PA BiH Ad-hoc Committee for the Appointment of BiH Ombudsman in its work must actively include the representatives of civil society organisations that are protecting and promoting human and minority rights. These organisations have to take part in the work of the Committee, as well as the process of selecting the best candidates, thus having in mind the Paris Principles adopted by the UN General Assembly in its Resolution 48/134 of 1993. Terry is looking forward to the future cooperation with BiH Parliamentary Assembly, and with the civil society organisations.