EUD/EUSR in Bosnia and Herzegovina Statement on Recent Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Central Election Commission Role

Against the background of various media statements seeking to interpret the European Union’s position on the recent elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the role of the Central Election Commission, the EU Delegation and the Office of the EU Special Representative would like to make the following clear:

“The European Union supports the Preliminary Findings and Conclusions by ODIHR on the conduct of the recent elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina issued on 8 October. These were also endorsed by the election observers from the European Parliament, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

By the end of this year, ODHIR is expected to issue recommendations on how to improve the electoral system in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EU stands ready to support an urgent implementation of these recommendations. The country cannot waste time by not addressing deficiencies in its electoral system. The conduct of elections in line with democratic standards will be taken into account by the European Commission in its Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU membership application.

The independence of the Central Election Commission is a necessary precondition for a well-functioning electoral system.  Current pressures on the Central Election Commission by political parties, and other actors, are completely unacceptable. At the same time,  the Central Election Commission needs to act within the remit of the laws regulating its functioning.”