Brussels, 5 December 2019
On the occasion of the 4th Stabilisation and Association Sub-committee on Justice Freedom and Security held in Brussels today, 5 December 2019, Mr Reinhard Priebe presented to the European Commission, the EU Member States and the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities the main findings of the independent senior experts’ report on Rule of Law issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The expert report is the outcome of the “EU initiative to enhance the monitoring of the Rule of Law in BiH”, which during 2019 has focused on the root causes of rule of law deficiencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, within the framework of the Commission’s Opinion on the EU membership application of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The EU welcomes the expert report. The experts’ findings point to a series of deeply concerning rule of law deficiencies in BiH.
The EU urges all BiH political leaders, competent authorities, judicial institutions and all judicial office holders to start addressing immediately the findings of the report and the corresponding key priorities identified in the Commission’s Opinion.
The citizens’ demands for justice, underlined in the Report must be heard and seriously addressed. The credibility of the judiciary as well as of the political authorities is at stake. The EU calls upon them to live up to the expectations of the citizens who want and deserve an independent, honest and efficient justice system. Discussion on the findings of the Report needs to continue. Members of the judicial community, political authorities and citizens should engage in judicial reform and monitor the follow-up to the Report via the ‘Pravo na Pravdu Platform’ launched during the ‘Pravo na Pravdu’ public debate on 20 November 2019.
The EU stands ready to ensure the necessary follow-up to the findings of the Report, including by ensuring the strengthened monitoring of the integrity checks.