Commissioner Varhelyi: Leaders in BiH must take steps to Deescalate Tensions

During his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi stated that he explained to all his interlocutors that the European perspective for the country is real and credible. He also made it clear that the European Union is fully committed to the stability, sovereignty, unity and integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

”My main message was: Leaders must take steps to deescalate tensions, avoid further rhetoric and actions that undermine trust and State institutions, resume dialogue and urgently return to fully functioning institutions. The focus needs to return to the European agenda and the implementation of the 14 key priorities so that Bosnia and Herzegovina can finally start to advance on the EU path and can become a candidate country,” he added.

These reforms need to go ahead also so that Bosnia and Herzegovina can fully benefit from EU programmes and our Economic and Investment Plan which is designed for the Western Balkans, where Bosnia and Herzegovina can be a major beneficiary.

This a critical moment for the country, its citizens, but also its businesses. Reforms are pending, and at the moment Bosnia and Herzegovina risks losing EUR 1.5 billion for connectivity if no action is taken.

”And more would be at stake for the future. Last night I spoke to the leaders of the ruling coalition, Milorad Dodik, Dragan Čović and Bakir Izetbegović.

Through all my discussions, I heard openings for solutions and willingness from stakeholders to move forward,” he explained.

Also, he added that he saw readiness to engage in relation to state property, on the criminal code amendments and constitutional and electoral reform. I also saw willingness to return to the work of the institutions, to move forward on all these issues.

”I can confirm that on our side we are ready to assist and facilitate this engagement in the interest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is for that reason that I have entrusted Ambassador Sattler, in cooperation with our key partners, to take this work forward,” he concluded.


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