Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/bosnia and Herzegovina : Adoption of Police Laws Moves Bosnia a Step Closer to the Eu

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/bosnia and Herzegovina : Adoption of Police Laws Moves Bosnia a Step Closer to the Eu

Article excerpt

In a late-night session on 10 April, the Bosnian lower house of parliament adopted legislation on police reforms, paving the way for the country to sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union by the end of April.

The passage of the two bills, aiming at closer integration of the country's two separate police forces in Muslim-Croat and Serb areas, was warmly welcomed by the EU. "The agreement on police reform is the crucial step for BiH, which should allow the country to further progress on the path towards EU integration. The EU Presidency is looking forward to the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with BiH as soon as possible," said the Slovenian EU Presidency in a statement on 10 April. The reform still has to be confirmed by the upper house, which is usually a formality. The Commission hopes that the vote, which is due to take place on 14 April, will be positive. "It is now important that the House of People, which is the second chamber of the parliament, completes the legislative procedure by urgently adopting the same laws," said the Commission's enlargement spokesperson in a statement.

WATERED DOWN VERSION

After more than four years of heated discussion, the Muslim-Croats and the Serbs were finally able to agree only on a watered down version of the legislation. The original plans, supported by the European Union, envisaged the full unification of the police forces of Bosnia's two autonomous regions, the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska (RS). …

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