The situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not satisfactory and a new impetus for electoral reform in the country is needed, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said at the Western Balkans Summit as part of the Berlin Process on Monday.
“We are talking about the future of this region and I want to emphasize that it is not only in the interest of the Western Balkan countries but also of the European Union that this process moves forward, that the tendencies of disintegration and secession are overcome,” Merkel said, stressing that the region is part of Europe.
She noted that the EU accession process is very slow for most Balkan countries and that there is a lot of work to be done, such as fighting corruption.
“This accession process is taking longer than some expected and hoped it would. When we started the Berlin Process in 2014, it enabled cooperation within the region with the help of support programs from the European Commission and the EBRD, but there are always some unpredictable difficulties,” she said, exemplifying this with the long negotiations between Greece and North Macedonia over the name of the latter country.
As for Bosnia, Merkel said that “there needs to be a new impetus for a new Election Law” and expressed hope that Christian Schmidt, the newly appointed High Representative in the country – the official tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement – will “get enough support in this difficult time ahead.”
“So, a lot has been done in recent years, but there is still a lot to be done to make some progress,” Merkel said of BiH.
Merkel also announced that Germany will donate 30 million vaccines against Covid-19 to Western Balkan countries as soon as possible.