Another successful trip to Brussels – Bosnia Presidency says

NEWS 09.10.2020 18:13
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Source: consilium.europa.eu

The Brussels meetings yielded desired results – encouragement to Bosnia's path towards the European Union (EU), Presidency Chairman Sefik Dzaferovic told reporters on Friday.

“The most important message of the meetings is that the relation between the EU and Bosnian institutions will be continuous and constant. We must be committed to the wok and sooner we convince the (EU) institutions that we are working hard on solving the priorities sooner will we get the candidate status,” said Dzaferovic.

This was the second visit of Bosnian tripartite Presidency to Brussels in less than two weeks. Both positive – according to them. But, between the two visits, Bosnia received not so positive report on its progress on the EU integration path. The European Commission assessed the progress was either small or non-existent in key areas.

Presidency Chairman explained that the report referred to 16 previous months, 11 of which were marked by “unnecessary” blockades.

“I hope we won't get in such a situation again. We did some things over the last 5-6 months and it was clearly detected in the European Commission's report. And if we continue that work in the upcoming period, as we did in the past months, then it is almost certain we will prove to be a credible partner who works truly on the implementation of 14 priorities (set in EC's Opinion on Bosnia's membership application) and get the candidate status next year. That's what we were told in all meetings,” he added.

Milorad Dodik, the Presidency member, said that some hard work is lying ahead of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the changes to the Constitution which is, according to him, almost impossible. 

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“There has to be a balance. There is more understanding for Bosnia and Herzegovina as a complex country, the country struggling with many internal issues. What we need to do now is to secure the passage with certain initiatives, such as mini-Schengen,” said Dodik.

He also stressed the importance of solving the issue of illegal migrations, which is affecting Bosnia and Herzegovina, as many of them are stuck on the country's territory with the EU borders being closed for them.
“European Union is launching a new dialogue on migrations and we were told this will include the Western Balkans. All matters concerning the Western Balkans are seen with the specificities of the countries in that region,” he added.

Dodik touched upon the situation in Bosnia's judiciary, noting that the international community's administrator in the country imposed the law with the EU's support.

“And today we can see it is a failed system,” he stressed.

“One should not create an illusion that we will legalise all failures of the international factor only because we have to solve something. It is necessary to have a debate on the whole judicial system,” added Dodik.

Presidency member, Zeljko Komsic, stressed that he and his colleagues pushed aside all differences dividing them aside during this and previous meetings in Brussels.

Some of the priorities Bosnia has to meet will be done soon and for others – it will take time, according to him.

“All matters concerning the changes to the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina are not administrative moves but political and social circumstances. They urged us to act reasonably, to use the opportunities we are offered. We are ready to approach the issues,” added Komsic.

Bosnia's tripartite Presidency arrived in Brussels on Friday where they held meetings with EU's top officials including European Council President Charles Michel.