International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

US Embassy-Implementation of ECHR rulings only through consensus, compromise

August 30, 2023

The US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina commented on the European Court of Human Rights' decision in the 'Kovacevic vs BiH' case concerning BiH's electoral system, expressing support to the implementation of the decisions of the Strasbourg court but emphasising that this is possible only through negotiations, consensus and compromise among local politicians.

“The United States has consistently supported implementation of the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) rulings. Although we have not yet had the opportunity to review this specific ruling in detail, we remain committed to supporting local actors as they work to implement the ECHR rulings,” the embassy posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Reminding that since 2006, the US has supported several efforts to negotiate a set of amendments to the Dayton Constitution, which were aimed at, among other things, addressing the ECHR rulings, the embassy said that “unfortunately, these efforts have failed either because political leaders have refused to negotiate in good faith or participate in negotiations altogether, because they have been unwilling to build consensus and compromise, or because they have put their own narrow political interests ahead of those of the people of this country.”

“If Bosnia and Herzegovina wants a future inside Euro-Atlantic institutions, the ECHR rulings will have to be implemented, but these rulings can only be implemented if local politicians step up and do the hard work of negotiating, forging consensus, and compromising,” the embassy underlined.

European Court of Human Rights ruled on the appeal of Slaven Kovacevic against the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, determining that his active right vote was violated.

The Court found that the combination of territorial and ethnic requirements amounted to discriminatory treatment in breach of Article1 of Protocol No.12 (General prohibition of discrimination) in the context of the right to participate in elections to the House of Peoples, also held true in respect of the right to vote in elections to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Source:  https://n1info.ba/english/news/us-embassy-implementation-of-echr-rulings-only-through-consensus-compromise/

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