Appeal regarding possible EU accession negotiations

Support for the democratization of Bosnia and Herzegovina!

Today, in the run-up to a decision on commencing EU accession negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) sent an appeal to the relevant decision makers. The human rights organization demands the EU and the international community to support the democratization of the country and to ensure that the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) are implemented through necessary reforms. 

“In a speech to the EU Parliament a few days ago, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that Bosnia and Herzegovina had achieved ‘…more progress […] in just over a year than in over a decade’. This assessment is quite unrealistic. Ms. von der Leyen is ignoring that the ethnonationalists are responsible for the permanent blockade and the dysfunction of the state at all levels,” stated Jasna Causevic, STP expert on genocide prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. Particularly because of the neighboring countries Serbia and Croatia, and due to Russian influence, the political goals of the ethnonationalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina have become more radical. The security situation is extremely fragile. According to a ruling by the ECtHR, the constitution and the electoral system enshrined in it are to be seen as a violation of European law. A reform of the electoral law – to ensure that all citizens have a voice, regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation – is long overdue. The ethnically organized political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina are, just like those of the neighboring countries, against democratic participation of citizens. 

“An immediate end to the destabilizing influence of neighboring countries Serbia and Croatia would be the be-all and end-all of a turnaround in the EU’s approach towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. In such a highly complex geopolitical environment, in which the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina is at risk, the EU is now more important than ever,” Causevic stated. “The European Union should not only demand a new initiative, but must actively ensure that undemocratic ethnic ideologists will no longer be able to block the democratic future of the entire country. In Bosnia, Europe must now finally prove how important democracy, human rights and the rule of law are to it.” However, pumping large sums of money into the country would only benefit a corrupt nationalist elite. “That would be the nail in the coffin for a multinational, multicultural and multireligious Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Causevic explained. “Almost three decades after the war, the people of Bosnia have a right to justice and institutional reforms, a right to truth, and to a culture of remembrance that puts an end to genocide denial and actually makes “Never Again” a possibility.

The full appeal – which is addressed to the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Court of Human Rights, the members of the Peace Implementation Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, the governments of the EU Member States, the United Nations, and all NATO member states – can be found here.

Appeal in German

Appeal in Bosnian