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Bosnia late in EU integration reforms: Commissioner

27 November 2012, 21:10 CET
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(SARAJEVO) - EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele on Tuesday warned Bosnia it was seriously late in its progress toward EU membership as it had failed to meet the conditions set by the bloc.

"The representatives of Bosnia and Hercegovina have not been able to honour main commitments they have taken... at our first dialog meeting in June in Brussels," Fuele said after meeting political leaders of the Balkans country.

"It is clear that this will delay European Union integration of your country," the EU official told reporters.

Fuele notably referred to the request that Bosnia amend its constitution in order to remove a provision that discriminates against Roma, Jews and other minorities in political life. The request was in accordance with a 2009 ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

The European Commission set November 30 as the deadline for Bosnia to change the constitution, but local political leaders have failed to find a compromise on the issue.

"The implementation of the... ruling is necessary to eliminate the discrimination against minorities. A credible application for a European Union membership cannot be submitted before," Fuele said.

"I hope that in the months to come there is going to be a clear solution for this issue," he added, saying Brussels had no plans to set a new deadline for Bosnia.

Bosnian lawmakers last week backed a reshuffle of Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda's cabinet following the creation of a new multi-ethnic ruling coalition.

The new cabinet has vowed to speed up the reforms demanded by Brussels.

Political leaders promised to reach an agreement on the European Court of Human Rights ruling before next meeting with Fuele in February.

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