Bosnia made significant progress in meeting the priorities from the European Commission’s Opinion and Brussels have recognised those efforts, Bosnia tripartite Presidency members confirmed following the meetings with the EU’s top officials on Wednesday.
The news for Bosnia and Herzegovina is good, Presidency Chairman Sefik Dzaferovic told reporters.
“Two reports will be published the next week, one referring to enlargement and another on the package f support for the Western Balkans. As for the enlargement, it was said during each meeting today that Bosnia and Herzegovina made significant progress in meeting the EU’s 14 priorities and that it should continue the committed work on meeting all obligations set by those 14 priorities. If that’s done, we can expect the candidate status in 2021,” said Dzaferovic.
The support package for the Western Balkans, which will be presented next week, will significantly back up the region’s infrastructure, energy sector and ecological development, he added.
According to Presidency Chairman, the meetings also discussed the issue of illegal migrations.
“We will get full support of the EU to successfully deal with the problem. The EU prepared a new plan of migrations, which is being discussed by the member states. That will help in reducing the number of illegal migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Dzaferovic.
The officials also touched upon the regional cooperation and agreed that the recently established initiative called ‘mini-Schengen’, aimed to ease the movement of goods, persons, capital and services, was not the replacement but the preparation for the EU membership.
“Something that will be standardised in line with the EU regulations,” said Dzaferovic.
Milorad Dodik, the Serb Presidency member, said in his media address that both the meetings and the day were good.
He confirmed the information about the recognised progress that Bosnia made on the EU path, and a possibility of granting the country with the candidate status the next year already.
“That would mean one new pace for Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Dodik, adding that he fully supported it.
He also expressed support for the ‘mini-Schengen’ initiative, adding that this subject will be one of the main topics during the upcoming EU-Western Balkans summit set for November 10th.
Sefik Dzaferovic, Milorad Dodik and Zeljko Komsic met with EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Commissioner Olivier Varhelyi, European Parliament President, David Sassoli, and EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, in Brussels to discuss Bosnia’s progress on the country's path towards EU membership.
In May last year, the European Commission adopted its Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU membership application in which it determined 14 key priorities for the country to fulfil in order to be recommended for initiating EU accession talks.