High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn issued a joint statement on the elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“At the general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina on October 7 citizens exercised their democratic right in a calm and orderly manner and voted on the political authorities who will have to work through the many challenges ahead and take the country forward on the path towards the European Union.
According to the preliminary findings and conclusions of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, the elections were genuinely competitive but characterized by continuing segmentation along ethnic lines. The legal framework is generally conducive to holding democratic elections, but important long-standing shortcomings remain. We expect the recommendations by OSCE/ODHIR to be addressed without delay to improve the electoral process.
We expect all political leaders to engage in the formation of the governments at all levels, by working constructively together, in the interest of the citizens of their country.
A rapid formation of the FBiH House of Peoples, in line with rulings by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, will also be important. We call on political leaders to assume their responsibilities.
The conduct and the effective implementation of the general elections will be taken into account in the Opinion on the merits of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application for the EU membership the Commission is preparing.
When submitting the application in February 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina took a strategic decision to embark irrevocably on the European Union integration path and to uphold and promote EU values. This new mandate can be an opportunity for political leaders to demonstrate, both to their citizens and to the EU, a renewed commitment and determination to take forward all the reforms needed to advance on the EU path.
The European Union continues to fully support and accompany Bosnia and Herzegovina, its institutions and all its citizens”, reads the statement issued by Mogherini and Hahn.