Pahor encourages reconciliation process in region

NEWS 25.04.2018 16:15
Source: N1

The European Union (EU) enlargement process is seen as a technical matter, but in case of Bosnia this process requires a more sensitive approach due to legal, political and ethnic-based reasons, said the President of Slovenia Borut Pahor at the opening of the Ninth Sarajevo Business Forum (SBF) on Wednesday.

Speaking of the Western Balkan countries’ accession to the EU, Pahor said it would be hard to imagine Bosnia staying out of the EU for too long “without a huge risk for the country and security of this region.” He added that the accession process was of a great importance for the Western Balkans.

The Slovenian President was among the speakers of the annual business-investment conference in Sarajevo, which gathered leaders of the region, Europe and the rest of the world, with focus on the economic connectivity of the South-East Europe and the region's cooperation with the EU.

Pahor emphasized that the trade exchange between Slovenia and the Western Balkan countries has increased after the 2009 economic crisis, with the trade exchange volume increasing by 11 percent over the past two years.

He concluded the speech by a few remarks on the importance of the reconciliation process in the region, stressing that the regional cooperation remains the essential tool for promotion of this process.

“I couldn't emphasize enough how important would it be for my country and how important would it be for your country if the process of reconciliation started. I know this is going to be a long process and that difficulties are out there. (…) If Bosnia needs a friend, we are here to share some experience,” he concluded.

The region went through an armed conflict in the early 1990s, which significantly affected the economic development of the Western Balkan countries. More than two decades later, the region is trying to overcome the economy-related problems, while striving to make progress towards the EU membership. Bosnia is seen as the most delicate of these states owing to its complex constitutional order, dividing the country into two semi-autonomous entities with one of the entities consisting of ten autonomous cantons, which makes the decision-making process in Bosnia extremely complicated.