BiH Council of Ministers Chairman Zoran Tegeltija told reporters after a meeting with EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson that they discussed all issues regarding the relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union, as well as the process of BiH’s accession to the EU “as one of our most important issues”.
The officials also discussed procurement of vaccines and the agreement on the joint process of procurement of vaccines between the EU and BiH.
The key topic of Commissioner Johansson’s talks with the Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers and his deputies, Minister Bisera Turković and Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda, was migration.
“There is a great degree of agreement between Commissioner Johansson and us when it comes to attitudes regarding migration. The Commissioner informed us about the new plan for migration and migration management, which is in the phase of harmonization in the European Commission,” stated Tegeltija.
Also, Tegeltija stated, they agree that migrations are a process that lasts constantly, “but it must not take place spontaneously and without control”.
“Our position is that BiH bears too much burden of the crisis, given its size and population, and that there is a much larger number of migrants on the territory of BiH, especially in the winter than BiH can objectively accept,” pointed out Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH.
According to him, the key for solving the problem of migration is border controls, readmission of those who do not meet the conditions to receive international protection, but have the right to humanitarian aid.
Tegeltija points out that it is not possible for BiH alone to provide protection at its borders, but that other countries should protect their borders before the migrants come at the BiH border.
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson stressed that the EU remains a close and reliable partner of BiH on its European path. She emphasized the significant progress that had been made, and in that context mentioned the steps towards the adoption of public procurement legislation.
She said that during the talks, they focused mostly on migration and security issues. She mentioned that she recently presented a new pact on migration and asylum at the EU level, which should mark a new beginning in this area, adding that it is necessary to ensure the consent of all member states when it comes to a new approach to migration and asylum.
Commissioner Johansson said that “this country has a duty to respond to the demands of migration and hence the need to strengthen the capacity of institutions at the level of BiH to better manage migration.”