Bosnia

The territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina must not be put into question, the EPP Group has affirmed. The European Parliament will tonight debate the escalation of tensions in the country caused by the secessionist acts of the Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik.

"Tensions are running high and we must not allow further escalation. This threat is on the EU’s doorstep. Why is no-one taking concrete strong steps against these nationalist acts of Milorad Dodik?”, asked Michael Gahler MEP, Foreign Affairs Spokesman of the EPP Group.

“We must use all available instruments in order that the Dayton Peace Agreement is preserved. A secession of the Republika Srpska would immediately be recognised by Russia”, said Gahler.

Dodik said earlier this month that the Bosnian Serb parliament will take decisions to withdraw from the country's army, courts and tax system this month. He also has plans to adopt laws in the next six months to form separate Bosnian Serb structures.

"The Dayton Agreement and its peace legacy must be respected", added Paulo Rangel MEP, the European Parliament's Standing Rapporteur for Bosnia and Herzegovina. "In June, the European Parliament reiterated its unwavering support for Bosnia and Herzegovina's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. BiH's institutions and leaders should focus on bringing the country closer to the EU through moving forward the necessary reforms.”

The secessionist moves and the blockade of the institutions jeopardises the stability, recovery and prosperity of the whole region, explained Rangel, adding: “The EU and the international community must be ready to use all available tools to ensure no further destabilising actions are taken, in order to preserve the stability of the country and all the region."

Željana Zovko MEP, Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, called for a reform of the electoral law. “The growing friction between the three communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina unfortunately distracts attention from the urgent task that awaits actions from the politicians, namely the agreement on the reform of the electoral law to provide inclusive elections for all constituent peoples and all citizens. As we have stated in our parliamentary Resolutions, for credible elections, the electoral law must comply with the state court and international court decisions. A final solution cannot be imposed and must be home-grown”, Zovko concluded.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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