SARAJEVO, February 25 (FENA) – Ambassadors of several European Union (EU) countries, led by the Head of the European Union Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EU Special Representative to BiH Johann Sattler, visited the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HJPC BiH) and discussed the new convocation of the Presidency of that regulatory body, headed by Judge Halil Lagumdžija.
In addition to Ambassador Sattler, the meeting was attended by Swedish Ambassador Johanna Strömquist, Dutch Ambassador Reinout Vos, Italian Ambassador Nicola Minasi, Austrian Ambassador Ulrike Hartmann, Slovenian Ambassador Zorica Bukinac and German Deputy Ambassador Sabina Petre Kochendorfer.
With words of welcome and gratitude for the current and future cooperation, members of the Presidency of the HJPC BiH introduced the guests with the vision of the HJPC BiH in the coming period which will be based on the Reform Program, as a set of strategic and reform measures whose adoption and implementation are being worked on intensively, as well as amendments to the Law on the HJPC of BiH.
In this regard, the importance and necessity of the support of the international community in BiH for the rapid adoption of amendments to the said law was emphasized, without which certain advances in the judiciary cannot be achieved, the HJPC BiH said.
The President of the HJPC BiH Halil Lagumdžija thanked for the cooperation and support of the European Union and its individual member states in numerous projects to improve the judiciary, emphasizing the importance of improving the integrity of judicial office holders, strengthening the overall responsibility of the HJPC BiH and the judiciary, and the proactive work of the HJPC BiH in the context of important issues for the functioning of the system.
Ambassador Sattler congratulated the newly elected leadership and underlined the importance of establishing the rule of law for the international community, as a key precondition for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s accession to the European Union.
He also referred to further support to the judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina through IPA projects, which will be aimed at improving the work and strengthening accountability.
He also stressed that the HJPC BiH should focus on concrete results and improving accountability.
Ambassador Strömquist stressed long-term cooperation between the Swedish and BiH judiciaries through partnership projects, with special emphasis on efficiency and responsibility, while Ambassador Vos pointed out positive examples of cooperation between judicial officials in the Netherlands and BiH, emphasizing that independence is an important instrument which together with the responsibility of the holders of judicial functions contributes to public confidence in the judicial system.
Ambassador Hartmann emphasized the importance of the rule of law for the overall prosperity of citizens and the possibility of enjoying their rights, while Ambassador Bukinac expressed hope that the appointment of new members of the Presidency would begin a new chapter in the work of the institution and pointed out that the system is based on the people who are part of it.
In addition, the ambassadors of the EU countries commented on previous projects and cooperation with the BiH judiciary and stressed that progress is necessary to restore public confidence in the work of the BiH judiciary and that the HJPC BiH is expected to be a leader and a positive example of change that are necessary for Bosnian society, the statement said.