The European Commission met with representatives of the Association of Disabled Persons of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brussels

The group came to report to the Commission about the problems encountered regarding social benefits for disabled people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Commission took note of the issues raised and encouraged the Association to send further documents to be examined in view of the Progress Report on Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is to be issued in October.

The Commission recalls that its last Progress Report 2011 found that:

“Little progress was made in improving conditions for the socially vulnerable and people with disabilities. In the Federation, the Strategy for people with disabilities has been adopted. In Republika Srpska, the Strategy for persons with disabilities is being implemented. The entitlement to rights and benefits for disabled persons is not based on needs. As a result, certain categories of persons with disabilities do not receive adequate financial benefits. The lack of harmonisation between the social protection systems of the Entities and Cantons remained.”

In the course of the accession process, Bosnia and Herzegovina will have to align its legislation with EU standards. Ensuring respect for human rights and preventing discrimination against socially vulnerable segments of the population, including the disabled, are key values on which the EU is founded. The Commission will continue to monitor this issue closely and urge the authorities to address it.