Michel responds to Pahor: EU path open for BiH, provided it delivers on reforms

NEWS 15.07.2022 17:31
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Source: THIERRYCHARLIER / AFP

In his response to a letter in which Slovenian President Borut Pahor called for granting EU candidate status to Bosnia, European Council President Charles Michel said the EU sent a “clear signal” that the path toward membership was open for BiH - “provided that the country delivers on reforms.”

In his letter to Michel, Pahor called for an accelerated enlargement process to the Western Balkans and for Bosnia and Herzegovina to receive unconditional EU candidate status.

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Michel thanked Pahor for the letter and noted that the EU is “fully and unequivocally committed to the EU membership perspective of the Western Balkans” and that it called for the acceleration of the accession process.

The EU-Western Balkans leaders meeting on 23 June in Brussels was “an important opportunity to re-energise the process,” he wrote.

“I share your concerns over the situation in Bosnia and Herzego\/ina and this is why, following the discussions in the February Foreign Affairs Council and the March European Council, I have personally engaged to help the leaders in the country to resume the dialogue and refocus on the implementation of the reforms necessary to advance on the EU path,” the EU official wrote.

He noted that, on 23 June, the European Council stressed that it stands ready to grant the status of candidate country to BiH and called on all political leaders to “stand up to their commitment to swiftly implement the commitments set out in the agreement reached on 12 June 2022 by the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brussels, in line with the Opinion of the Commission.”

“This is a clear sign that the EU path of Bosnia and Herzegovina is open – provided that the country delivers on reforms,” he wrote.

Michel explained that the EU Council has tasked the Commission to report on the implementation of the 14 key priorities of the Opinion so it can revert to decide on the matter.

“This is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s chance to demonstrate progress and advance to the next stage of the integration process — we must encourage them to seize this opportunity,” Michel stressed.

“Be assured that the EU, and myself personally, intend to maintain its engagement, to support Bosnia and Herzegovina and all our Western Balkan partners in the necessary steps to move forward on their EU path,” he wrote.

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