The chairperson and members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Željka Cvijanović, Denis Bećirović and Željko Komšić met yesterday with the European Union Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi. After the meeting, they all agreed that BiH’s accession process with the EU has to be faster.
Commissioner Várhelyi arrived on a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina at a crucial moment for BiH’s path to the EU, after the European Commission recommended the granting of candidate status for BiH. The commissioner expressed hope that this would happen in mid-December.
He stated that it is a geostrategic interest to strengthen partnerships, which requires allies in the neighborhood, since his visit also comes at a key moment for BiH, in turbulent times and an important geopolitical moment due to the war in Ukraine.
“It is recommended that BiH be granted candidate status without delay, but it comes with high expectations. The EU path for BiH is open, but results are expected from BiH, which should be achieved without further delays, and it is up to the political leadership to make it a reality,” said Várhelyi.
The EU member states decide on the granting of such status, the commissioner noted, adding that it is crucial to provide tangible and clear results that should be reported to the Council of the European Union in December to decide on the granting of candidate status.
For this to happen, he added, the Council of Ministers of BiH in its current convocation is expected to fulfill everything related to the adoption of key laws, and the newly elected Presidency of BiH is expected to have the 14 priorities of the European Commission as the backbone of their future work.
“This new four-year mandate provides an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and speed up activities on the implementation of 14 key priorities. I have confidence in the political representatives and I call on them to ensure the granting of this status to improve living conditions in BiH,” concluded Várhelyi.
During the two-day visit to BiH, the European Commissioner will also hold meetings in the context of the European Union’s support to Bosnia and Herzegovina in migration management and will attend the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Security of BiH and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on the issue of voluntary and involuntary return.
He is also scheduled to visit FabLab, a digital innovation hub supported by the EU4DigitalSME project.