EC says Bosnia continues to make limited political and economic progress towards EU.

By bne IntelliNews October 17, 2013

Bosnia has made only limited progress in addressing the political and economic criteria for EU membership, the European Commission said in its progress report on Bosnia published on Wednesday, October 16.

The Commission noted that the Bosnian authorities continue to lack a shared political vision on the future of the country. Furthermore, no progress has been made in order to ensure the compliance of the Bosnian constitution with the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the Sedjic-Finci case, the report underscored. The Commission urged the authorities to address this judgement urgently in order to implement the amendments of the constitution and election law by April 2014, in time for the next general elections.

The report also noted that the coordination between various levels of government on EU-related matters has to be significantly improved. Bosnia has also made very limited progress in adopting EU-related legislation.

On a more positive note, some progress has been made in implementing the recommendations issued in the framework of Bosnia-EU structured dialogue on justice as well as in processing war crimes and reforming the state-level judiciary, the Commission said. However, more needs to be done in the field of fight against corruption and organised crime.

Regarding the economic criteria, little further progress has been achieved towards establishing a functioning market economy. Bosnian economy recovered slightly in early 2013 after contracting 1.1% in 2012. Nonetheless, the unemployment rate remains particularly high. The Commission also said that Bosnia needs to improve the quality of public finances and fiscal reporting. Moreover, the authorities have to prepare a pension reform in the Federation and implement it with a clear timetable. The country should improve its business environment in order to develop a competitive private sector.

The report noted that despite some slight improvement, the consensus on economic and fiscal policy essentials remains weak.

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