“We would like to reiterate the concerns as expressed in the joint letter sent on 9 July 2013 to the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the EU, Council of Europe, OSCE, US Embassy and OHR.
“The law is vitally important for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s fight against corruption, which we all agree represents one of the country’s most pressing challenges. Legislation that regulates the accountability of public office holders and transparency of their activities are of the utmost public interest, and broader public consultations should have taken place prior to adoption. Not only that the law was not open for a public debate, but it was adopted under urgent procedure, which does not allow any amendments to be submitted.
“Specifically, the relevant international standards require that the body implementing conflict of interest legislation, in this case the Commission for Deciding in Cases of Conflict of Interest, should be independent and have the required expertise. Also, a right to appeal against decision of the implementing body should be ensured. Unfortunately, the Commission does not meet the requirement of independence due to its composition, and this could jeopardise the impartiality of the screening process.
“This adoption of amendments at the BiH level shall have an impact on the implementation of the legislation on conflict of interest both in FBiH and Brcko District, which will have to re-design their system, as currently the Central Election Commission implements their laws. We regret that by adoption of these amendments, the BiH authorities have not focused on the adequate management of conflict of interest in order to guarantee that the public service functions are performed effectively, objectively and in a transparent manner.”
(Source: EU Delegation to B&H)