At today’s meeting of the General Affairs Council of the European Union, which was chaired by delegated Minister of the Government of the Slovak Republic Ivan Korcok, the request of BiH for membership in the European Union was accepted and an order was given to the European Commission for preparation of a questionnaire for BiH, as stated from the Council of Ministers of BiH .
After the request for membership in the European Union got submitted in February this year and after all the requirements of the European agenda that are necessary for the consideration of the application got done, the Council of the European Union today formally requested the European Commission to submit its opinion on the application for membership of BiH in the European Union. This means that BiH will get a set of several thousands of questions to answer in the upcoming period .
CONCLUSION OF THE COUNCIL OF GENERAL AFFAIRS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
- On the 15th of February 2016, the Chairman of the Presidency of BiH Dragan Covic presented the application of BiH for EU membership. The Council decided to implement the procedure set forth in Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union. Accordingly, the Commission is invited to submit its opinion.
- Recalling the renewed consensus on enlargement, given the conclusions of the European Council of 14th / 15th of December 2006, the Council confirms once again that the future of the Western Balkans lies in the European Union. The Council reiterates that each country’s progress towards the European Union depends on its individual efforts to comply with the Copenhagen criteria and the conditionality of the Stabilization and Association Process.
- Echoing previous Council conclusions, in particular those from the 15th of December 2015, as well as its unequivocal commitment to the perspective of BiH in the EU as a single, unified and sovereign state, the Council welcomes the significant progress in the implementation of the Reform Agenda, on which all the authorities in BiH have agreed on at all levels. The Council calls on BiH to continue its efforts to ensure effective implementation of the Reform Agenda in accordance with the schedule of the action plan agreed by the authorities in BiH, for the benefit of its citizens and in close cooperation with the European Union, international financial institutions and international partners, as well as civil society.
Besides socio-economic reforms, these efforts should be focused also on reforms in the field of law and public administration. The Council invites the Commission to continue to report on the implementation of the Reform Agenda, including the coordination mechanism. During the preparation of the opinion on the application of BiH for membership, the Council of the Commission required special attention to be paid to the implementation of the Sejdic-Finci verdict.
- The Council welcomes the initialing of the Protocol on the adaptation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement which takes account of the accession of Croatia to the European Union. Full implementation of the SAA, including its adaptation, is an important element of the commitment of BiH in the process of European integrations.
- The Council further welcomes the agreement on the establishment of a coordination mechanism on EU issues. The Council calls on all levels of government in BiH to ensure its effective implementation, as an important step towards improving the functionality and efficiency.