A delegation from the ECR Group visited the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the 21st to 23rd April 2022 to gain a closer insight into the causes of the worsening political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which may deteriorate further with the forthcoming elections planned for October of 2022.
The delegation consisted of five MEPs Ladislav Ilčić (Hrvatski suverenisti - Croatia), Hermann Tertsch (Vox - Spain), Ryszard Czarnecki (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość - Poland), Carlo Fidanza (Fratelli d’Italia - Italy) and Bogdan Rzońca (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość - Poland).
The conservative lawmakers met with political representatives from different communities of Mostar and the surrounding region as well as with members of the Croatian National Assembly, local politicians, intellectuals, representatives of NGOs and members of the clergy.
A key moment was the panel discussion held with citizens, civil society and the media about the current political crisis in the country, the geopolitical challenges the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina are facing in the context of the Russian aggression in Ukraine, and EU perspectives on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Based on these discussions, the ECR delegation concluded that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country at high risk of becoming a failed state and the October elections, which will be held under the current discriminatory electoral law, could further escalate the situation. The ECR Members pointed out the urgent need to reform Bosnia and Herzegovina’s electoral law. The concept of equal rights for the country’s constituent nations must be respected in all agreements with the EU, they said. The separatist aspirations coming from both Republika Srpska and the Unitarian concept promoted by Bosniak politicians are destabilizing the country. The ECR delegation stressed that their Group supports the country’s aspirations concerning the EU, but that stronger efforts to fight corruption, depoliticise the civil service and reduce bureaucracy are needed. In addition, the human rights of all national minorities and constituent nations should be respected. Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to prove its stability if it wants to continue on the path to join the EU.