At the start of September of this year, the Initiative for Monitoring EU Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) delivered the Alternative Report on the Progress of BiH which the members of the Initiative had drafted and presented in July 2014 to the parliamentary delegation for BiH and Kosovo, as well as to the Green party caucus in the European Parliament.
The report has been well received and has so far gained the support of the following members of parliament: Tanja Fajon, Davor Skrlec, Ruža Tomašić and Terry Reintke who have also expressed their desire to be informed about the future work of the Initiative.
Following the presentation of the proposition for a new European Commission structure, the Initiative for Monitoring EU Integration of BiH sent an open inquiry to members of the parliamentary delegation for BiH and Kosovo and the Green party caucus in the European Parliament.
The Initiative has expressed its concern over the alteration of the title from Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy to Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations which, together with European Commission president Jean-Claude Junker’s statement that there will be no enlargements in the next five years, confirms the European Commission’s lessening interest in enlargement.
Tanja Fajon, a member of the European Parliament, gave her full support to the Initiative but also suggested waiting for the official confirmation of the proposed European Commission structure, when the Commissioner, upon taking office on 1st November, should present his agenda and reveal certain guidelines pertaining to the issue of EU enlargement politics.
On the other hand, European Parliament member Ruža Tomašić suggested that the Initiative should refer its questions to Commissioner Johannes Hahn and obliged herself to do so on behalf of the Initiative.
The Initiative has put forth the following questions:
- Will the European Commission continue with the so-called Structured Dialogue on Justice or will there be changes concerning this mechanism?
- Will the representatives of the Commission for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations continue negotiating with the elected office-bearers in the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of power or will they continue the politics of their predecessors, i.e. negotiating with representatives of the ruling political parties?
- Which problems will be prioritized when it comes to BiH? Will you take a firm stance on the issue of ethnic discrimination in BiH?
The questions will be forwarded to the European Commission on Monday, 22nd September as promised by MP Ruža Tomašić, and a reply is to be expected within the following six weeks.
European Parliament member Terry Reintke gave her contribution to the work of the Initiative by referring a question to the Commissioner in the European Commission about the organizational structure of the European Commission, asking among other things whether there will be any changes in its structure or its attitude towards countries seeking European integration. Reintke also requested an answer on concrete problems and steps which the enlargement commissioner plans to undertake when it comes to BiH. She also posed a questioned on the rumoured deadlines, especially those concerning BiH, related to fixed dates of the enlargement ban or the EU accession of a certain country.
We cannot deny the fact that opening accession negotiations in neighbouring countries has had an effect on BiH as well. We expect constructive answers from Commissioner Hahn that will give us a clear message on how to continue our work and how to contribute, as organisations of civil society, to the European path of BiH.