The European Union Delegation/EUSR issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
“To date Bosnia and Hercegovina has not appointed a National Contact Point (NCP) for cooperation with EUROPOL. Failing to establish the National Contact Point has several serious consequences for BiH and its citizens. Undermining cooperation with EUROPOL will have an impact on the security of BiH and its citizens.
The Council of Ministers, by postponing for weeks the discussion on the NCP, has missed an important opportunity to set up the National Contact Point.
In operational terms, without a functional NCP, BiH authorities will have considerably less access to sensitive information on criminals through the EUROPOL secure communication platform on crimes. Moreover, BiH cannot send its Liaison Officers to EUROPOL Headquarters and get a EUROPOL Liaison Officer deployed to the country.
This persistent breach of the agreement with EUROPOL could lead to the temporary suspension of the application of the Agreement – something that never happened with any other country.
Politically, this affects deeply the credibility of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s commitment to fight serious and organised crime and strengthen the rule of law, in particular with a view to the Commission’s Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application for EU membership.
We have seen during the past months authorities disputing the competences and the procedures for the appointment of the NCP. The recent example of the adoption of the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code shows that if there is political will, a solution can be found.
The EU supports all relevant institutions and political parties to take the necessary steps to set up the NCP before the expiration of the deadline.”