“The Dayton Peace Agreement ended a devastating war. Its 25th anniversary can be a turning point and mark the beginning of a new phase to build a new momentum for reconciliation and enable needed reforms”, said the EU High Representative.
The HRVP stressed: “The future of Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in the European Union.”
The country, as the whole Western Balkans region, has a clear European Union perspective. The integration toward the EU remains a key object, with a great majority of the BiH citizens – around 80% - in its support.
The High Representative emphasised that the political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina have to take their responsibilities and deliver on the reforms which will contribute to moving the country toward the EU and which will – most importantly – benefit the people. Continued work on the strengthening of functional democracy, enhancing the rule of law and securing fundamental rights remain crucial requirements for EU membership.
During his visit, the High Representative/Vice President visited the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo to pay tribute to the civilian war victims. Together with representatives of the Council of Europe, the United Nations and the OSCE, the HRVP talked to some of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most active agents of peace and reconciliation. They affirmed that what citizens most want is peace, stability and a path towards a prosperous, inclusive and democratic future. High Representative Borrell stated that Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU progress must be underpinned by genuine reconciliation. It has to be a constant effort, and the country’s political leaders have to help and contribute to create an environment that facilitates cooperation and reconciliation and does not undermine these important endeavours.
During the visit, the High Representative met with young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina underlining that youth deserves to be given opportunities to grow and contribute to the Bosnia and Herzegovina of tomorrow.
With them, he discussed the challenges they face as well as the future of the country.
As High Representative/Vice-President Borrell said: “The rejection of conflict, the rejection of hate and division and the acceptance of cooperation and reconciliation is central to the European Union and to our common values. Europe is there to help, and we can do it together. “
The High Representative visited the European Union Force (EUFOR) Operation ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The European Union is the main political and economic partner of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The EU stands by Bosnia and Herzegovina and its people and will invest 9 billion euros to support a more connected, green, and people-focused growth in the Western Balkans region via the Economic and Investment Plan.
25 years ago, the Dayton Peace Agreement ended the bloodiest war in Europe after the Second World War, a devastating conflict that led to genocide, more than 100,000 deaths, and over a million refugees. After 25 years, much work remains to be done to ensure a prosperous future for the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The success of Bosnia and Herzegovina application for EU membership application depends on the progress on all 14 key Opinion priorities identified by the European Commission in May 2019. The 14 priorities represent a clear roadmap of reforms.