Negotiations on Amendments to the BiH Constitution and Election Law require transparency and civil society involvement

With the aim of contributing to the implementation of EU policies, laws and standards, the Initiative for Monitoring the European Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as an informal coalition of forty civil society organizations, drew attention to and expressed dissatisfaction with the way talks and negotiations on eventual changes to constitutional and legal acquis of Bosnia and Herzegovina have been held, in the context of the implementation of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, as well as amendments to the Election Law of BiH.

Emphasizing the necessity of these changes, primarily in order to remove discriminatory provisions from our constitutions, but also the consistent implementation of relevant international organizations’ recommendations to strengthen electoral legislation, we believe that the process in this regard is not transparent enough to inspire confidence.

Despite the fact that, in addition to domestic political actors, key international community actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been involved in the process of negotiations on such important issues from the very beginning, the process has been deprived of the participation of the non-governmental sector, which we perceive to be not only a loss for the entire process, but also a possible lack of desire to lead such an inclusive process that would ultimately result in much-needed, limited but essential reforms of the BiH constitutional and legal acquis.

As a result, we urge both domestic and international actors to restore the process of negotiating amendments to the BiH Constitution and Election Law to the system’s institutions, ensure full transparency, and include all socio-political capacities that Bosnia and Herzegovina unquestionably possesses.

We are convinced that only such a process can result in a comprehensive improvement of our country’s legislative and institutional framework, ensuring that the 14 key priorities of the Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application for EU membership are met.