The director general of enlargement at the European Commission, Stefano Sannino, issued a resume of what Bosnia had done to meet the terms of the EU’s so-called Road Map at a mid-term review meeting in Sarajevo on September 12.
The Road Map was given to Bosnia in Brussels on June 27 but Bosnia has failed to implement the first task by the given deadline.
This was to amend the constitution in line with the European Court of Human Rights’ 2009 Sejdic-Finci ruling, Sannino said. “This was supposed to be done by August 31,” he noted.
He was referring to Bosnia’s obligation to implement the European Court of Human Rights ruling of December 2009, which told the country to change its constitution to allow ethnic minorities to run for top governing posts currently reserved for Bosniaks [Muslims], Serbs and Croats.
Sannino recalled that the EU had alredy issued a statement expressing disappointment that the August 31 deadline had passed, but added that Wednesday’s meeting was about the possibility of Bosnia continuing work on the EU path.
“It is clear that it could be difficult to see a breakthrough concerning the Sejdic-Finci ruling in the next few weeks,” he recalled.
But he said that Bosnian politicians had assured him that work on the other tasks in the Road Map will continue.
Referring to a question from Balkan Insight, he said that the EU would not lower its criteria to help Bosnia move forward with EU integration.
The leader of the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, Sulejman Tihic, meanwhile said that the focus should now be on implementation of the Sejdic-Finci ruling.
“We should all focus on the Sejdic-Finci case and leave any issues concerning the equality of the three ethnic groups in various areas to some other time,” Tihic said, referring to proposals of the Bosnian Croat parties for other changes to the constitution.
But Bozo Ljubic, leader of the Croatian Democratic Union 1990, one of the two largest Croat parties in Bosnia, said that core changes had to be made to the constitution.
“The Bosnian boat is shaking and the only way it does not sink is European integration,” Ljubic said.
“We have to focus on the Road Map and the [Sejdic-Finci] ruling now, but we need an essential solution [to the constitution],” he said.
Zlatko Lagumdzija, leader of the Social Democratic Party, said the Road Map was still active and the authorities would continue working on it.