The European Union’s Special Representative in Bosnia, Johann Sattler, told N1 that the conclusions the European Council adopted on Thursday show that BiH has a future within the EU but also that it is now up to local politicians to implement reforms necessary for the country to be granted EU candidate status as soon as possible.
Sattler said that the adoption of certain laws that are important for BiH’s EU integration was blocked by the ruling Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat political parties, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) and the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH).
Sattler said that a “historic moment” happened in Brussels on Friday when Moldova and Ukraine were granted EU candidate status but argued that the result for BiH was positive as well.
He argued that the conclusions that were adopted clearly prove that the European Council is willing to grant the country EU candidate status and that it is up to BiH when this will happen. He stressed that BiH must show that it is serious regarding the necessary reforms and called on BiH officials to work on implementing them by the October General Elections in the country.
Adopting laws on conflict of interest, public procurement, the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council (HJPC), as well as continuing the fight against corruption are priorities, he said.
Sattler's message to political officials, to which, as he said, they committed themselves at a recent meeting in Brussels.
He also expressed concern regarding Russia’s involvement in BiH’s internal matters, noting that Russia made “threats” against the country in case it makes certain foreign policy decisions.
Sattler stressed that BiH is a sovereign country and that it must be able to make its own decisions without foreign interference.