EU warns Bosnian membership bid will be 'frozen' without reform
Sarajevo, 11/04/2013 - Bosnia's bid to become a member of the EU could be "frozen" if the country fails to implement constitutional changes to allow people from the Jewish and Roma communities to hold high political office, the EU enlargement commissioner said Thursday, AFP reports.
"I notice with regret that the political parties have failed to make any meaningful progress for more than three years to implement the Sejdic-Finci judgement," Stefan Fuele told reporters here.
Fuele referred to the request that Bosnia amend its constitution in order to remove a provision that discriminates against Roma, Jews and other minorities in political life. The request was in accordance with a 2009 ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.
Under the internationally-brokered 1995 Bosnia peace accord, only Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Serbs are considered "constituent peoples" with the right to apply for top state and legislative positions.
The court ruled that this discriminated against other ethnic groups, notably Jews or Roma.
"This lack of action from the party leaders will clearly undermine Bosnia's European integration process," Fuele said.
The required changes were blocked by constant bickering by rival Muslim, Croat and Serb leaders.
But Fuele warned that "without an agreement... Bosnia's EU path would be frozen."