Thorny Path to the EU Membership

Integrating the countries of the Western Balkans into the European Union (EU) has become the priority of the European Enlargement policy. The EU’s commitment towards a European future for these states has been maintained since the Thessaloniki summit in 2003. This particular milestone paved the way for an EU accession, and granted all Western Balkans countries the possibility of gaining potential candidate status.

The accession of Croatia last year showed that the EU kept its promise to integrate the Southeast European countries, even in difficult economic and political times. Southeast Europe is known as a place where several nations have been closely living together for centuries. Yet, the recent past has portrayed this region in a disgraceful light. The rise of nationalistic ideologies and ethno-nationalist rhetoric resulted in the collapse of former Yugoslavia. Such traits are still present today and, indeed, they are considered to be the main obstacle on the path towards EU-membership. In order to ensure the successful integration of the region, and to prepare for the accession process, the Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAA) serve as an important precondition for the path towards EU-membership. The focus, in this regard, relies on reaching the EU standards for democracy, human rights, and rule of law. In the context of the enlargement process, the Copenhagen Criteria, which define the economic and political values as well as the body of European Law, the acquis communautaire, are the prerequisite for EU Membership. On their way to becoming a Member State of the EU, every country in Southeast Europe has to address similar and different issues. As the European Parliament’s Rapporteur, and lead negotiator on Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), I closely followed the country’s development over the last years, and I assessed the progress which has been achieved so far. In order to become a prospective candidate, BiH has to amend the constitution, so as to adopt the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Sejdic and Finci on discrimination of minorities. It is crucial to address this issue, which has been, and still is, one of the main reasons why BiH is lagging behind, and why this country has achieved hardly any progress concerning European integration. The continuous efforts by Bosnian political leaders to find a common approach to the constitutional reforms have resulted in other issues being marginalized. Another problem, in this regard, is the nature of the constitution itself. The so-called Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) was able to end the war in BiH, but as a constitution, it has proven to be dysfunctional. The recent events in BiH not only highlighted the growing public dissatisfaction and frustration of its citizens, but should also serve as a wake-up call for the political leaders to change their attitude, to consolidate, and to work towards a common future. The anti-privatisation protests in Tuzla, a former industrial centre, turned into a general, nationwide uprising. High unemployment and economic stagnation, which have persisted for years, have pushed people to the edge of despair. Especially many young citizens, even University graduates, who do not have a job and who are completely without perspective, have taken to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with everyday life. The EU’s Head of State and Government, as well as Foreign Ministers, should strengthen their personal commitments to the country, to make sure that the people’s demands and their unhappiness have been heard.



Doris Pack

Doris Pack is a German politician and Member of the European Parliament. For more than fifteen years she has been a Chair of the Parliamentary Delegation for relations with South-east Europe, while currently she serves as a member in European Parliament Delegation for relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.


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The RBiH future is the RBiH Constitution

Dear honouralble Mrs. Pack!
It is a long time we lost contact. Maybe you are happy for that.
Nothing new in the West (Balkans) nothing new in EU. In Bosnia, the things have been worsening. Čovic and Izetbegović will today discuss the Third entity future with the good wind in the back of Čovic blown by Croatia and EU.
You are against it, you do not like cantons but you stated recently the two entities are good.
I do not agree as you know well. There is an army of over two thousand citizens that consider the Republic Bosnia and Hercegovina valid Constitution only.

The Dayton Peace Agreement is illegal, so I can not understand why you as EU representative are so hard sticking for something illegal and dysfunctional. This kind of constitution model does not exist not only in Europe but also in Africa.

EU has had their representatives who guard the illegal Dayton. EU invested billions of euros in the wrong system and wrong people. Domestic politicians are going to destroy not only our destiny, but also the future of our country that was grounded on the principle that EU embraces in its Declaration recently, but not follow the practices. EU allows strong politicians to grab EU money and destroy the principle of the normal state. Bosnian state is now a monster.

The are voices about so-called Dayton 2 conference in order to change the Dayton Constitution cosmetically. The deepest changes are not possible having in grass snakes like Izetbegović, Dodik, Vučić and their supporters. This illegal Dayton Constitution is going to make they riches, people poorest and the state lost in favor of the three small Nacy states. The USA punished Dodik, but EU did not. EU does not agree with the USA!

It time for EU to change its policy regarding Balkans. EU must not award genocide product RS, Herceg-Bosnia and Islamic state. EU has power and tools, money as well to impose Republic Bosnia and Hercegovina as the citizen's state. This job is based on the EU principle, international and domestic principle of the laws and the judgment of the International Court of Justice and Tribunal in the Hague.

There is not the better solution in the sight.
Finally, Bosnian citizens must be captains of their boat and the master of their destiny with the EE encouragement and help.

We all need the courage.

This letter I am writing to you I hope will find you in good health.

Best wishes,
Ibrahim Halilović

(Schöne Gruße aus Hanau)

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