The Dayton Peace Agreement was a joint effort of the international community and a milestone in EU-Transatlantic cooperation in the Western Balkans, European Union’s Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the deal that brought peace to Bosnia and Herzegovina after the 1992-95 conflict.
“We consider the region to be of crucial importance for the stability, security and freedom of Europe, and it is also our task to help you to overcome the still existing difficulties such as the heavy legacy of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Varhelyi.
He emphasised the lasting peace, stability, security and prosperity in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the rest of the region as common goals towards a peaceful and prosperous future.
“It is only the EU membership that can create long-term peace, security and prosperity. And we work for a better future for everyone together,” he stressed.
Accelerated integration of the Western Balkans in the European Union is the EU’s clear priority, he added.
The commissioner recalled of Bosnia’s still ongoing EU membership journey which started with the application from 2016.
“For the country, the time has come to raise from Dayton to Brussels. In its 2019 Opinion, the Commission identified 14 key priority areas that the country needs to fulfil in order to be ready to become a candidate for EU accession. We are working on these 14 priorities with Bosnia and Herzegovina. I hope that in the next year we will see delivery. For this, we need Bosnia and Herzegovina to deliver on these priorities by accelerating reforms on key areas like the amendment of the constitution, the independence of the judiciary, fighting organised crime and corruption”, stressed Varhelyi.
He marked the last month’s agreement on creating a common regional market in the Western Balkans as “a milestone of economic integration on the way towards EU accession.”
Finally, the commissioner underscored Bosnia will keep enjoying the EU’s support in completing the tasks lying ahead of it and urged the leaders and citizens to take the chance to build their own future.
For us it's a priority to bring #WesternBalkans into #EU. For #BosniaHerzegovina the time has come to raise from Dayton to Brussels. #Dayton25 The Legacy of Peace: 25 years of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement @MVEP_hr pic.twitter.com/R2LCr62QFr
— Oliver Varhelyi (@OliverVarhelyi) December 15, 2020