Bosnia leaders urged to tackle socio-economic issues in run-up to elections

The European Union calls on political leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina to focus on how to improve the economic and social situation in the country in the run-up to general elections, due to be held in October, and to start dealing with the functioning of the state institutions after the elections.

The Foreign Affairs Council consisting of EU member-states’ foreign ministers on Monday considered the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and concluded that “in the short term it is important for the institutions and leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina to focus on a number of key priorities, particularly socio-economic issues and especially high unemployment among young people.”

The Bosnian topic was put on the Council’s agenda following social unrest in that southeastern European country in February.

The EU council expressed readiness to “support the efforts they (Bosnian leaders) make through a number of initiatives, including the Compact for Growth.”

“This is an effort coordinated with international partners to assist the institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina in reforming the economy and creating new opportunities for citizens. After the elections, they will need to engage on a broader set of issues. The efficiency and the functionality of institutions need to improve at all levels.”

The EU remains committed to Bosnia’s European prospects, “but work needs to step up to regain some positive momentum and we will continue with our efforts to help and support,” according to the conclusions which were adopted during Monday’s meeting.

Bosnia was again urged to implement the judgement of the European Court for Human Rights in the “Sejdic-Finci” case.

The EU ministers also expressed unequivocal support to the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina. (TSN)