Bosnia to Miss EU Deadline on Court Ruling

Bosnia looks likely to miss the EU’s August 31 deadline to resolve the question of the 2009 Sejdic-Finci ruling.The EU “Road Map” for Bosnia – a list of obligations that the country has to meet by given deadlines, given in June in Brussels – is likely to be missed if the first task is anything to go by. An August 31 deadline to resolve the Sejdic-Finci ruling is fast approaching.This involves Bosnia implementing a 2009 European Court of Human Rights ruling, which told the country to change its constitution in order to allow ethnic minorities run for official posts that are now available only to Bosniaks [Muslims], Serbs and Croats.

Zlatko Lagumdzija, Bosnia’s Foreign Minister, said on August 16 that his Social Democratic Party, the SDP, had proposed a solution for the Sejdic-Finci ruling.

But this has been widely criticized, including within his own party, pompting one senior SDP official, Zeljko Komsic, to resign.

“I know we have a deadline in August but what is more important is the mid-September period,” the Foreign Minister said, adding: “That’s when we will have a trilateral meeting in the EU with Croatia…to talk about open questions.”

As the next session of Bosnia’s parliament is also scheduled for the beginning of September, it is now highly unlikely that Bosnia will come up with the solution to the question of the court ruing before then.

Any decision on constitutional amendments meanwhile requires an agreed compromise among Bosnia’s six ruling parties.

But they have currently cancelled all joint meetings owing to a fresh political crisis in the country concerning the UN.

The problem occurred after Bosnia voted in the UN General Assembly in support of a resolution on Syria, condemning the violence there.

The decision on the vote ought to have been brought by Bosnia’s State Presidency, but the three members of the Presidency failed to meet prior to the vote on August 3.

Foreign Minister Lagumdzija then instructed Bosnia’s representative to the UN to support the resolution, drawing accusations from the Bosnian Serbs who said he had disrespected the State Presidency and violated the constitution.

Referring to such accusations and the call for his resignation over the issue, Lagumdzija said on Thursday in Sarajevo that he had merely followed past practice of Bosnia’s voting in line with EU member states. He added that he did not plan to resign.

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