Statement of the European Commission on the EU-BiH Structured Dialogue on Justice

The European Commission has decided to keep on hold the organisation of the plenary session of the EU-BiH Structured Dialogue on Justice, previously scheduled for 13 and 14 July 2015 in Sarajevo. The Commission has taken note of the recent discussion on the Structured Dialogue that took place at the BiH Council of Ministers and amongst relevant stakeholders. Therefore, an urgent engagement with respective executive authorities in BiH is needed.

Also in consideration of the current political context, the Commission deems it relevant to discuss all aspects related to the functioning of the Structured Dialogue, with a view to jointly agreeing on working methods, procedures and developments related to the future establishment of a formal Sub-Committee on Justice, Home Affairs and Security, as well as a clear working plan for the months to come on the key reform priorities.

A meeting has therefore been convened for Monday, 13 July,to address all these aspects with executive authorities i.e. the BiH Minister of Justice, the FBiH Minister of Justice, the RS Minister of Justice and the President of the Brcko District Judicial Commission. The European Commission also requested that preliminary targeted discussion takes place on how to move forward the core reform processes on the agenda and on war crime processing.

The Commission counts on a clear commitment on ways to move forward the judiciary reform agenda, also in the framework of the new country-wide Justice Sector Reform Strategy. This will build on the main results already achieved by the Structured Dialogue on Justice on both war crime processing and on development of measures to increase professionalism, accountability, independence and efficiency of the judiciary.

The European Commission expects that all authorities proactively engage in order to resume the Structured Dialogue, through a credible and effective planning of future activities, and then progressively launch the reforms necessary to consolidate an independent, efficient, accountable and professional judicial system throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.