Izetbegovic: The future of the Western Balkans is in the EU

Izetbegovic: The future of the Western Balkans is in the EU Izvor: Predsjedništvo BiH

Bosnia is committed to regional connectivity in the fields of economy, infrastructure, energy and security of the region said Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Presidency member Bakir Izetbegovic in Sofia, at the EU-Western Balkans Summit.

Addressing the present officials at the opening of the Summit, Izetbegovic expressed his gratitude to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker for the invitation to participate at the Summit.

He welcomed the Summit Declaration and reiterated that Bosnia will join the Declaration.

Bosnia welcomes the initiative to improve the infrastructural connectivity as well as the connectivity among people. Izetbegovic said Bosnia is also committed to regional connectivity in the fields of economy, infrastructure, energy and security via mechanisms like the Berlin Process and the Connectivity Agenda.

Bosnia also welcomes the new Western Balkans Strategy announced by the EU in February 2018. Bosnian citizens want the quality of goods and services, the quality of food and water and the quality of infrastructure to be equally good as those in the EU.

Bosnia is committed to maintaining the positive momentum initiated in October 2014 and to continue with the reforms and progress in the EU accession process. We have two main objectives: receiving the EU candidate status by the end of 2018 and starting the negotiations on receiving the candidate status as soon as possible,” Izetbegovic said. “We are here today to reconfirm that the future of the Western Balkans is in the EU.”

The Berlin Process is a diplomatic initiative linked to the future enlargement of the European Union. The Berlin Process was initiated in order to consolidate and keep the dynamics in EU integration process in the light of increased Euroscepticism and the 5-year stoppage of expansion announced by Commission President Jean Claude Juncker.

It aims to support Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia in strengthening regional cooperation and driving sustainable growth and jobs.

The Connectivity Agenda aims to improve the links within the Western Balkans and with the EU.

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