WASHINGTON -- A senior U.S. senator has urged Secretary of State John Kerry to take action in response to "worsening corruption" in Bosnia-Herzegovina, saying it is "paralyzing" the country's European integration and "putting foreign investment at risk."
In a letter to Kerry released February 4, Senator Roger Wicker, a Republican from the state of Mississippi, said "corruption in vital regulatory institutions and among high-level political officials" in Bosnia-Herzegovina is particularly concerning.
Wicker, the co-chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, said he was "troubled that responsible political authorities in Sarajevo tolerate the subversion of the rule of law by entrenched local interests."
Sarajevo said last week that it would officially apply to join the European Union on February 15.
In November, the European Commission said Bosnia-Herzegovina had considerable work to do to converge with EU norms and standards, including the fight against corruption and organized crime.
Meanwhile, an EU-led monitoring body on February 4 urged Bosnia-Herzegovina to publish the results of a contested 2013 census that should be used to make voter rolls and allocate government resources.