Bosnia Herzegovina

Parliament Magazine Article: Bosnian people must 'peacefully' hold their politicians to account

Price of 'political impasse' being paid by Bosnian people, writes Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford.

The recent resolution adopted by the European parliament in response to the European commission's 2013 Bosnia-Herzegovina progress report reflects the widespread frustration among MEPs at the lack of progress made by the Bosnian authorities over the last year and I fully share this feeling.

The continuing failure to fully develop many of the features of a modern functioning state, such as an efficient administration, independent courts, a free and lively press and effective regulations, is not only undermining democracy and the rule of law, but also sabotaging economic development.

Sarah's speech to Parliament on the 2013 progress report on Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarah Ludford (ALDE), on behalf of the ALDE Group . – Mr President, I think Commissioner Füle and the rapporteur, Mrs Pack, have fully brought out how our complaints about the fact that Bosnia has hardly moved on in five years are having a real effect in the real economy.

 

Sarah's speech to Parliament on Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarah Ludford on behalf of the ALDE Group. - Mr President Ms Pack's report observes that the lack of job perspectives especially among young people is hindering the progress of the country and contributing to social discontent. One of the reasons I was so pleased to push hard in support of Ms Fajon on visa-free travel for Bosnians 18 months ago - with which we succeeded - was to allow travel for study and business in the hope of an economic boost as well as widened horizons.

Bosnia must step up reforms for EU readiness

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford is urging Bosnia & Herzegovina to make the necessary reforms to put them on the path to EU membership.

These reforms need to cover political and constitutional matters as well as economic and social issues. Until last month the country had not had a stable government for 16 months because of deadlock between Serb Croat and Muslim leaders.

Speaking ahead of a European Parliament debate and resolution tomorrow Sarah Ludford commented:

International Holocaust day reminder that genocide and torture endure

To mark International Holocaust Remembrance day Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman and London MEP Sarah Ludford a member of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel said:

"The European Union created in the aftermath of WWII is based on the pledge that the Holocaust or Shoah must 'never happen again'. But it cannot be said that we are doing everything necessary to stop a repeat."

"Whether in the use of torture in the 'war on terror' harassment of immigrants or racial and religious violence people of the world continue to be at risk of inhuman and illegal treatment even at European hands or when we turn a blind eye."

Question to Commissioner-designate Stefan Fule (enlargement and neighbourhood policy) about Bosnia

I am now going to give you the chance to specifically talk about Bosnia. Last year a US academic charged that the EU lacked a viable policy towards Bosnia. And indeed you omitted any mention of Bosnia in your list of policy priorities in your written answers. Meanwhile Bosnia and Herzegovina is a dysfunctional state sliding towards disintegration. It was judged unfit to get visa liberalisation on December 19th while Serbian citizens among others did.

Sarah puts pressure on Commissioner-Designate Stefan Fule about Bosnia

I am now going to give you the chance to specifically talk about Bosnia. Last year a US academic charged that the EU lacked a viable policy towards Bosnia. And indeed you omitted any mention of Bosnia in your list of policy priorities in your written answers. Meanwhile Bosnia and Herzegovina is a dysfunctional state sliding towards disintegration. It was judged unfit to get visa liberalisation on December 19th while Serbian citizens among others did.

Sarah questions Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso about reform in Bosnia

Sarah Ludford (ALDE):

Chris Patten said the danger in the Balkans is that they pretend to reform and the EU pretends to believe them.

That seems to be happening in Bosnia which is sliding alarmingly towards dysfunction if not destruction. The international community and the EU are perceived in Bosnia as failing to insist on reforms and failing to stand up to Milorad Dodik Republika Srpska leader. The office of High Representative while it still lasts has been undermined and the authority of the international community weakened.

How would you answer the charge that the EU is running an agenda in the Western Balkans which is to the benefit of the Serbs in Belgrade and Bagna Luca - with the Bosniacs the losers?

Sarah's speech to the European Parliament on visa-free travel for the Western Balkans

Sarah Ludford rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. − Madam President the commitment supported in the Fajon report and backed by the proposed Council and Parliament declaration is a far-sighted one. It is to give visa-free travel to all the people of the Western Balkans. This is not solely a generous and altruistic move. It is also hard-headed and shrewd since security in the widest sense of the word will be promoted and advanced. People who are free and free to travel tend to be committed to peaceful solutions and less prey to introverted nationalism which is a security threat.

European Parliament foreign affairs committee backs visa liberalisation for all Western Balkan countries

The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs committee last Tuesday backed by an overwhelming majority (51 to 8) Sarah Ludford's position to amend a European Commission legislative proposal concerning visa liberalisation for short-term travel for the citizens of Balkan countries.

Sarah speaks about visas for the Western Balkans

Sarah Ludford on behalf of the ALDE Group. - Madam President the ALDE Group firmly and consistently supports the goal of EU accession for all the Western Balkan countries. We are aiming to equip their citizens to join an integrated free movement area with a single market and common values.

Freedom of short-term travel is a vital part of preparation for that. The Commission and the Council obviously share that goal so why on earth has the Commission managed to put forward such an ill-judged and divisive proposal?

Subscribe to RSS - Bosnia Herzegovina