Following Monday’s meeting of EU Foreign Council, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini, addressed recent visit by German and United Kingdom Foreign Ministers to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the written statement issued by Bosnian Presidency. In her remarks Vice-President said that update which was received by the Council was very important adding that actions by Bosnian Presidency put the country in right direction.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Philip Hammond visited Sarajevo earlier this month to meet with local political leaders and to address national Parliament in effort to convince them to accept new plan for Bosnian accession process.
Speaking at the Bosnian Parliament UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond warned Bosnian leaders that “success will depend on what Bosnia and Herzegovina does or does not do”. Mr. Hammond also pointed out importance of cooperation between all sides and all ethnic groups as well as leaders and Parliament at large.
“The more that is delivered on the ground in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the more progress can be achieved. And I am glad to say our EU partners have endorsed that approach. They have asked the Presidency and the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to sign up to a written commitment to a roadmap for a broad-based reform agenda to advance Bosnia and Herzegovina on its EU accession path.
And if they do so and if their resolve is supported by you, the Parliament, the EU should bring the long-delayed Stabilisation and Association Agreement into force. The next steps will be concrete actions to deliver that roadmap. Putting in place the co-ordination mechanism. Improving the functionality and efficiency of government. Implementing the economic reforms. And, if those steps are taken, then we would support the submission of a credible application for EU membership”, said Mr. Hammond.
Bosnian Serbs leader Milorad Dodik who earlier objected proposed statement prepared by Bosnian Presidency expressed his hope after one on one meeting with Hammond and Steinmeier that if text could be amended he would support it. According to Dodik his sole request is that statement should stress importance of protection of Bosnian constitutional system nor be used for transfer of powers to states level from entities.
Others including Bosniak member of Bosnian Presidency Bakir Izetbegović and Croat leaders Dragan Čović and Martin Raguž stressed that if this statement and proposed process fails that would be ultimate failure on the road to EU. Major obstacle could emerge in fact that Bosnian federal government is not formed two months after general elections, and Dodik’s situation in Republika Srpska entity is in danger as his coalition is already cracking.
On the other side official Brussels remains positive regarding process started by Bosnian authorities, and Vice-President Mogherini encouraged them to continue.
“We had a short but important update on the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where you might remember we discussed and decided in December to follow a way of a written commitment from the Bosnian Presidency and then signed by the political leaders and voted by the Parliament to re-open the way. And we assessed the fact that the work done by the Presidency and shared with the political leaders in these very same hours is going definitely in the right direction, so that helps to conclude on a rather positive note, which is something that from time to time in these times you need”, said Mogherini on Monday.