Statement by the European Commission

On May 3 a High-Level meeting on home affairs issues between the European Commission and Bosnia and Herzegovina took place in Brussels. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange information and to assess the consistent and sustainable implementation of all reforms that BiH authorities carried out in relation to the Visa roadmap.

The exchange of information and statistics with BiH authorities covered: document security, border management, migration and asylum, efforts for the fight against organised crime, corruption, and terrorism; as well as aspects related to human rights and integration of minorities and other vulnerable groups.

The Commission took note of some positive elements reported by the BiH representatives, which confirmed continuity of actions and sustainability of achievements.

Overall, security of documents continues to be maintained in line with the highest international (ICAO) and EU standards. Efforts on migration issues are satisfactory to address the current migration inflows with which BiH is currently confronted. Regional cooperation on Border issues has continued and is expected to intensify thanks to the recent agreement on establishing a joint border police centre for BiH, Montenegro and Serbia in Trebinje. However, additional efforts are still needed by these three countries to finalise the closure of unauthorised points for border crossing. Furthermore, the BiH Council of Ministers should adopt the rulebook of the internal organisation of the Border Police, which formalise the Joint Risk Analysis Centre.

The Commission received an update on law enforcement operations against organised crime, corruption, and terrorism. Some important institutional developments in these areas, although formally included in the visa roadmap, are still pending and require urgent action by competent BiH authorities. The anti-corruption agency is not yet operational due to the limited temporary budgetary allocation, as well as to the delays in adoption of the rulebook on internal organisation of the agency to be adopted by the BiH Council of Ministers. A country-wide electronic system for data exchange between registries of police and prosecution offices is not yet operational, although equipment has been installed and preliminary measures were implemented.

Some progress has been registered with regard to further alignment of legislation with the anti-discrimination law and awareness raising among citizens on the anti-discrimination law. However, the shortcomings of the current anti-discrimination law (in particular the exclusion of age and disability and the broad scope of exceptions) remain to be addressed. Due to the fact that temporary financing has been in place, no progress has been made to strengthen financial and staffing resources of the BiH Ombudsman. Some positive steps have been taken as regards the registration process of the Roma population. The revision of the Action Plans under the Roma Strategy on employment, education, health and housing can be expected to be completed by end 2012.