International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

EU Delegation concerned about Dodik's announcement of law on “foreign agents”

March 10, 2023

The EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina warned that the announcement of Milorad Dodik, the President of the country’s RS entity, regarding the introduction of a law on “foreign agents” would be detrimental to civil society and contrary to the country’s EU integration process.

Dodik recently announced that a law on the activities of non-governmental organizations and similar associations in Republika Srpska will soon be proposed, adding that it will be “identical to the American law.”

“Any unfounded limitation of the effective exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to association (and expression), is in itself contrary to the aspirations of Bosnia and Herzegovina to progress on the European path,” the spokesperson of the EU Delegation, Ferdinand Koenig, told BUKA.

In this context, recent announcements by RS authorities regarding the introduction of regulations that could significantly narrow the space for civic engagement are unacceptable for the EU.

The EU Delegation pointed out that ensuring a favourable environment for civil society is among the priorities the EU defined for BiH to achieve progress in its integration efforts.

As he was announcing the law, Dodik said that the USA calls foreign non-governmental organizations or those financed by foreigners “foreign agents on the territory of the USA”. He said the RS will use the same terminology in its law and emphasized that it will include the obligation of NGOs to report every transaction and activity.

“The RS authorities should not be afraid of the work of civil society organizations. On the contrary, their engagement is a key component of democratic societies”, the EU Delegation told BUKA.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/eu-delegation-concerned-about-dodiks-announcement-of-law-on-foreign-agents/ 

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