Open Letter of BH Civil Society Organisations to the BiH Council of Ministers, the BiH Directorate for European Integration, the European Union Delegation in BiH and the European Commission

Open Letter of BH Civil Society Organisations to the BiH Council of Ministers, the BiH Directorate for European Integration, the European Union Delegation in BiH and the European Commission

 

THE STRUCTURED DIALOGUE HAS TO BE MORE TRANSPARENT AND FOCUSED ON A WIDER SPECTRUM OF BH CITIZENS’ NEEDS

 

Civil society organisations, signed below, appeal to the BiH institutions and the European Union to persist in their intentions to make the Structured Dialogue on Justice process more transparent and efficient.

Based on the conclusions of the meeting that took place in European Union Delegation on the March 7, 2014, we recommend that the Structured Dialogue on Justice should be improved in the following way:

-       The Structured Dialogue on Justice should become a Structured Dialogue on Rule of Law – Although the Dialogue on Justice already includes matters of utmost importance for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina (questioning the work of the judiciary at state, entity and Brcko District level, the work of the BiH High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, the prosecution of war crime cases, and the regional judiciary cooperation), we believe that this process should include other issues.

Combat against corruption and criminal, strengthening gender equality, fighting discrimination against marginalized groups, combat against hate speech and hate crime need to find their place in this process, in order to intrinsically strengthen the rule of law and uphold the European standards of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

-       Civil society organisations must be included as the third actor into the Structured Dialogue – Since the beginning of the Dialogue in 2011 until today, this process showed limited results. Negotiations between BiH institutions and the European Union have fulfilled the institutional part of the negotiations, but they lack the third critical party – BH civil society. European Union appealed to BiH to enable the participation of civil society organisations in this process further on. Civil society organisations signed below express their interest and appeal to the BiH state and entity authorities to enable the participation of civil society in the Structured Dialogue, making it a process which will yield concrete results.

 

The lack of the political will and interest of the BH political leaders to find solutions for standing issues, for the benefit of BH citizens instead of their own, has been delaying BiH’s EU integration process for years. We believe that this can be changed and the civil society organisations can contribute to this change!

 

SIGNATORY OF THE OPEN LETTER:

Initiative for the Monitoring of BiH’s European Integration

Following organisations are the member organisations of the Initiative:

Centre for Political Studies Sarajevo, Sarajevo Open Centre, Zasto ne Sarajevo, Foundation Cure Sarajevo, Human Rights Centre of the University of Sarajevo, Association Alumni of the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies Sarajevo, European Research Centre Sarajevo, Foreign Policy Initiative Sarajevo, Green Council Sarajevo, Green Neretva Konjic, Helsinki Citizens Parliament Banjaluka, Centre for Socio-Ecological Development Banja Luka, Perpetuum mobile Banja Luka, Centre for Youth ‘Kvart’ Prijedor, Students Association of Law Faculty of the University in Tuzla, OKC Abrašević Mostar, Association “PEKS” Živinice, Vesta Tuzla, Infohouse Sarajevo, Crvena Sarajevo, Youth Initiative for Human Rights BiH Sarajevo;

The letter is also supported by the following organisations: Association for Democratic Initiative, Sarajevo; Centar za istraživačko novinarstvo, Sarajevo; Rights for All, Sarajevo; Transparency International, Banja Luka; BH novinari, Sarajevo; Open Society Fund BiH, Sarajevo; Vaša prava, Sarajevo; Centri civilnih inicijativa, Tuzla; Vive zene, Tuzla;