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Ashton: Decision on referendum is step in wrong direction

16. April 2011. | 08:36

Source: Tanjug

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton expressed her concern about the current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and assessed that the decision adopted on Thursday by the Republika Srpska (RS) National Assembly has been a step in the wrong direction, the statement from Brussels reads.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton expressed her concern about the current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and assessed that the decision adopted on Thursday by the Republika Srpska (RS) National Assembly has been a step in the wrong direction, the statement from Brussels reads.

"Such unilateral steps are not bringing solutions for the country to move forward. Only mutually agreed reforms provide for much wanted and needed progress," Ashton pointed out.

"The EU believes in the importance of an effective and independent judiciary, which is a key element for EU accession. The EU therefore supports the work of the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the State Prosecutor’s Office and the High

Judicial and Prosecutorial Council," she underscored.

Ashton called on the political leaders not to undermine the progress achieved to date and to address their concerns through the appropriate institutional channels.

"Bosnia and Herzegovina needs its political leadership to engage in a constructive, structured political dialogue between all parties concerned, which opens the way to much needed reforms. I expect all the politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina to take that responsibility individually and collectively," she stressed.

Ashton added that, after the initial already undertaken contacts with the local politicians, EU high official Miroslav Lajcak will visit Bosnia and Herzegovina soon.

The RS parliament voted Wednesday evening in favor of a decision by RS President Milorad Dodik to call a referendum at which the citizens of this entity would declare whether they support the laws enacted by High Representative for BiH, particularly those referring to the BiH Court and the Prosecutor's Office.

The decision on the referendum takes effect the day after its publishing in RS Official Gazette, and the referendum is to be held in the first week upon the expiry of 45 days from the decision's coming into force.

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