It’s been said for BiH that it has reached a very limited progress, while Montenegro continues reaching political criterions sufficiently. Application of verdict in the "Sejdić-Finci" case remains the key for entering into force of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) BiH – European Union, has been concluded by the European Commission.  

In the annual report on progress of BiH in the process of European integrations, which has been announced today, the European Commission points out that there is still no common vision of political representatives in the whole direction and future of country.

"Besides intensive efforts of the EU as a mediator, political representatives of BiH were not able to agree on solution for application of verdict of the European Court for Human Rights in the 'Sejdić-Finci' case, when speaking of discrimination of citizens on the basis of their ethnicity", stated by the Commission.

The Commission points out that the application of this verdict, which enables appointing representatives of minorities in the Presidency and the House of People of BiH, remains the key for entering into force of the SAA and for credible application for membership in the European Union.

Progress has not been reached in establishing efficient coordination mechanism on the issues related to the EU between different government levels neither, because it is, as stated, of a huge significance, in order for the representatives of BiH to speak in behalf of their country.

The report also indicates the intensive efforts of the EU in mediating in order for political representatives of BiH to be supported in finding common basis for application of verdict in the "Sejdić-Finci" case, and that question was the central one at the meetings EU-BiH in the framework of high level dialogs.

That verdict should be applied, as stated, urgently in order for changes of the Constitution and the Elections Law to be adopted until April 2014 at the latest, before the next general elections in BiH.

The Commission also indicates that the mechanism for coordination between the state, entities and the District of Brčko should be established in order for country to unanimously communicate with the EU and efficiently use the pre-accession IPA funds.

The report also indicates that the Parliament of BiH has reached some limited progress in adopting the laws related to the EU, that the public administration reform process lacks the required political support and that the resources of the ombudsman are insufficient.

The Commission states that the limited progress has also been reached in processing war crimes and jurisdiction reform, while the agreements with Serbia and Croatia on cooperation in prosecuting war criminals represent important development on regional level.

However, BiH has reached a limited progress in combat against corruption and organised crime. Corruption remains prevalent with insufficient results of investigation and prosecution in highly profiled cases, which has negative consequences for society and economy, concluded by the Commission.  

Certain progress has been reached in application of the strategy on Roma population, but there is still a prevalent discrimination of LGBT population community even though the Commission marks a certain progress in that area.

When speaking of economic criterion, besides some soft recovery at the beginning of 2013, the unemployment rate is very low, while the complex legal system and inefficient jurisdiction divert the investors and are the source of corruption.  

BiH is the only country in region which has not harmonized its legislation with directives of the EU from 2004 on public procurements, while the European Commission expects from BiH to do it urgently.

"Montenegro to continue the combat against corruption"

Montenegro has progressed in establishing the functional economic market, improved its abilities in overtaking obligations of membership in the European Union and continues to execute political criterions sufficiently, concluded by the European Commission (EC) in the new annual report.

In the report of the EC on progress of Montenegro in the process of European integrations announced today, indicated has been, however, that the country should invest in the efforts for an efficient application of action plans for negotiation chapters 23 and 24, to continue the combat against corruption and organised crime and to solve the cases of attacks on journalists.

The Commission reminds that the screening meetings have been held and that the two negotiation chapters have been opened and temporarily closed. It also states that the negotiations have encompassed the new approach for the chapters 23 (jurisdiction and basic rights) and 24 (justice, freedom and security).

Montenegro has adopted the action plans for both chapters and on basis of that it has been invited to submit its negotiation standpoint on those chapters, has been added in the report.

Application of action plans will determine the whole course of negotiations, stated in the report and added that Montenegro will have to continue developing results in that area, especially when speaking of the combat against corruption and organized crime.

When speaking of political criterions, report states that Montenegro continues executing political criterion for membership in the EU sufficiently.

Montenegro continues having a constructive role in the region and continues respecting international obligations including conditions from the stabilization and association process, added by the EC.

The EC, however, indicates that some efforts are required for an efficient application of action plans for chapters 23 and 24 as well as for further combat against corruption and organized crime.

Attacks on journalists are the reason for worry and an investigation should be conducted and the attackers prosecuted, added in the report.

When speaking of economic situation in Montenegro, indicated has been that the macroeconomic stability is being held, but the country should strengthen the concurrence by improving productivity and attracting foreign investors.

Montenegro continues harmonization of its legislation with the European laws, the Commission indicates and concludes that the limited administrative capacities of Montenegro represent the challenge in many areas and that is why they have to be strengthened in order for an efficient application of the European legislation to be assured.

Recommendation for opening negotiations to Macedonia again

The European Commission has recommended, the fifth year in row, opening the accession negotiations with Macedonia, because the country, as concluded, has continued executing political criterions for membership in the European Union sufficiently.

"Generally, Macedonia has reached a good level of harmonization with 'acquis' (legal inheritance of the EU), sufficient for it to move into the next phase of the accession process. It also continues implementing its obligations from the Stabilization and Association Agreement smoothly, on basis of which the Commission recommends moving into the second phase of accession since 2009", written in the EC report on progress of Macedonia in the process of European integrations.

The Commission has reminded that Macedonia was the first country to sign the SAA with the EU, and that it has the candidate status since 2005.

The high level dialog with the Commission still serves as the initiator for the reform and it contributes to progress in many key areas, concluded in the annual report.

When speaking of political criterions, Macedonia has already reached the high level of harmonization in relations to the phase in which it is in the process of associating the EU. The Commission recommends that the priority in next year should be an efficient application of existing legal and political frameworks.

The Commission concludes that the special focus should be on independence and competence of courts, freedom of expression and media relations, elections reforms, and concrete results of the combat against corruption and application of recommendations related to the Ohrid agreement.

The constructive approach to relations with neighbours, EU Member States remains important, and 20 years after entering of country in the UN, solution for the "name issue" should be found under the UN shelter.

When speaking of economic criterions, Macedonia has achieved progress with the goal of reaching the functional market economy, undertaken have been some measures for the unemployment decrease, but some structural measures are required, concluded in the report.

Macedonia has reached the high level of harmonisation with the EU related to legislation, politics and administrative capacities by considering the fact where it is in the accession process. The focus is now on administrative capacity and coordination mechanism through national administration, in order for their efficient application to be ensured.

Further efforts, stated by the Commission, are needed in the areas as are regional policies, life environments and climate changes, social policy and employment and in the area of fiscal control as well. (Source: B92)