Both Dragan Covic and Bakir Izetbegovic, Bosnian political leaders who met with European Council President Charles Michel on Saturday, assessed the meeting as positive and called Michel's approach "mild."
According to Izetbegovic, there are a few positive outcomes of Michel's visit.
“The first one bringing the focus back on the European path of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he is ready to work in line of agenda that would lower the bar and that 14 (European Commission's reform) priorities would be turned into something less ambitious, which would enable us to get the candidate status soon,” said Izetbegovic.
The SDA party leader also said that Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency and the SNSD party leader, was “more operational” in terms of the country's European path and in general.
“Also, Covic is in favour of having the elections held this autumn,” according to Izetbegovic.
Asked if the electoral reform was mentioned in the meeting with Michel, he replied that they discussed a road map i.e. having some necessary topics including the stabilisation, cooperation, European road, etc. tackled prior to the Council session end of June, while more complex topics such as the Election Law, state property, genocide denial ban, etc. would be discussed after the October elections.
“I told Michel we all should attend and that it is not a reduced format. This time we all should attend, not only Covic and Bakir,” he stressed.
HDZ BiH party leader Dragan Covic said following the meeting that everyone has the same goal, to bring Bosnia and Herzegovina back onto the European path and meeting the conditions for the EU candidate status.
According to him, the European Council President demonstrated the “mildness” that have not been seen in a while.
“There was an agreement we would do everything to stabilise the political developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, since the election campaign has started,” he said.
Covic also said that his party would support the laws that need to be reformed as a part of BiH's EU path as soon as the Council of Ministers sends them into procedure.
As for the Election Law, Covic assessed it would be hard to reach an agreement in five months, given the fact that nothing has been done over the past two years.
Speaking about the state budget, he said that nobody wanted to discuss it for a year and a half or react to the Finance Minister's notes.
“Pressures and sanctions coming from Sarajevo are absolutely unacceptable. The budget must be passed immediately,” he added.