Objavljeno prije skoro deset godina, a kao da je danas-ništa se bitno nije promijenilo:
The last night’s Evening news on TV1, hosted the EU integration expert, Mr. Zekerijah Smajić. The interview was centered on the key obstacle of Bosnian integration process – Sejdić-Finci judgment, but also on other EU related issues, such as the 45million Euros loss of IPA funds.
Unfortunately, there is not a written version of interview on Bosnian, nor on English, available online. That is why I will provide a video link of the interview (on Bosnian), and try to make the English translation of it in the most correct way possible.
Journalist: Mister Smajić, a new meeting of political leaders with the EU representatives on the implementation of the Sejdić-Finci judgment should take place on January 13th. According to you, is it possible to find a common agreement until or at this meeting?
Smajić: I am convinced that it is not possible to achieve a high-quality agreement. It is possible to achieve some kind of compromise that will not be viable. So far, there have been countless formal arrangements that are actually only pushing away Bosnia and Herzegovina from the European Union.
Journalist: You have sent an open letter to the European Commission and theCouncil of Europe. Why?
Smajić: The point is that the European Commission has made an incomprehensible bad political assessment and a system error in the Sejdić-Finci case. What is it really about? I may be a bit hypocritical, but I would like for the audience to fully understand the following. Strasbourg is a city in France and in it, is situated the Council of Europe with 47 member states. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the seat of the European Union with 28 member states. Luxembourg is the capital of Luxembourg. In Strasbourg is located the Court of Human Rights at the Council of Europe.
The European Union, with its seat in Brussels, has its own European Court with the exclusive jurisdiction to deal with the same issues raised in the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, but only for citizens and legal entities from the EU member states. The seat of this Court is in Luxembourg. Therefore, it is completely unnatural that the European Commission has taken such an issue in its hands, which is by no means its portfolio, nor its jurisdiction. In this case, it would be natural that this is the case for the Council of Europe, which has extremely efficient mechanisms and superior bodies over the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which is the Committee of the Ministers, such as the European Commission in Brussels; and is Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The other reason why I claim this is a system error is the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a member of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, since 2002. and there is still no Agreement on Stabilization in Brussels.
There is an Agreement signed in 2008, but it has not entered into force, although it was signed by all the EU member states and verified in their parliaments. But, Bosnia and Herzegovina has not fulfilled the conditions and since 2008, this Agreement has still not come into force. So, why is this Agreement so important?
If this agreement came into force, the European Commission would formally have legal argument to insist on constitutional reform issues. However, since we have no contractual relationship with the European Union, which is de facto administering, I believe that the Sejdić-Finci issues was unnecessary plucked from the jurisdiction of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, so it could be threatened to Bosnia and Herzegovina with it, knowing in advance that it will not be resolved in the foreseeable future.
Journalist: What do you expect it could be done in order to correct this mistake?
Smajić: I am not optimistic in sense that the European Commission will say: ‘Yes, we were wrong’, only because Zekerijah Smajić said so. I am not that naive. But someone finally had to say something. I am actually in direct contact with a number of Bosnian representatives and I have been telling them about this absurdity, nonsense, unnatural thing.
Another reason why I think this is truly a failure by the European Commission is: For years (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), in a similar way, the Commission had attempted to reform our police. It didn’t succeed, and yet, it was one of the conditions for obtaining Feasibility Study and Stabilization Agreement. The same thing happened with the reform of public broadcasting service. And there are even more examples, 5-6 cases that I am familiar with. In those cases, the European Union has not persisted in performing reforms to the end, but it has stepped away from them: quietly, silently, noiselessly and actually admitted the mistake. And then, the European Commission was giving us certain concessions, such as the Stabilization Agreement etc.
This time, the Commission actually chose the most sensitive case, the Sejdić-Finci case, which directly interferes with the change in the Constitution. This is even though, in the past ten years, the highest representatives and spokesmen of the Commission have many times said that they will not interfere with the constitutional changes of the country and that the national political forces should do that instead.
So, the real question arises: Who made such wrong political assessment? Us, journalists, need to detect this and tell the citizens that the Sejdić-Finci is actually an imposed case, intended to further stop Bosnia and Herzegovina on its road to European integration.
Journalist: Among other things, due to non-implementation of Sejdić-Finci, we have lost 45 million euros of IPA funds and we are facing the loss of IPA II-which is 80 million euros each year. Do you think that this will be the end and do those penalties have any effect?
Smajić: I have already mentioned this issue in my open letter that was sent to all the relevant addresses. I argue that the European Commission leaves the Sejdić-Finci case to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and its bodies – the Committee of Ministers and Parliamentary Assembly. They should present the application of the decision of its court. Finally, they have stronger mechanisms since we are member of the Council of Europe. They should unfreeze the funds designed for Bosnia and Herzegovina, for 2013, which is around 50 million euros and they should not put us in a regime of sanctions in the next period: 2014-2020. Because, these funds will de facto represent a direct harm for the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and precisely the sectors that should be a driver of development: tourism, agriculture and industry, infrastructure etc. It is logical that in the worst-case scenario, Bosnia and Herzegovina will be deprived and further away from the process of European integration.
Journalist: So, you are saying that we are punished for their mistake?
Smajić: I claim it.