European Union External Action

EU ministers confirm unequivocal commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU perspective

16/10/2017 - 16:42
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On 16 October, the ministers of foreign affairs of the 28 EU member states reiterated the bloc's unequivocal commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU perspective as a single, united and sovereign country. The Council Conclusions also urged the Bosnian authorities to step up the implementation of reforms designed to benefit all citizens.

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The EU Foreign Affairs Council today adopted Conclusions reiterating the full commitment of the European Union and its member states to the EU perspective of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The implementation to date of the Reform Agenda has provided the first steps of structural adjustments to the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the national authorities now need to step up delivery of comprehensive reforms, in an inclusive manner, concluded the 28 EU ministers of foreign affairs.

The ministers noted that divisive rhetoric and an electoral agenda had slowed down the pace the reform, and reconfirmed the EU's commitment to the Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU perspective as a single, united and sovereign country.

In light of 2018 general elections, the Council considers that electoral reforms should be approached in a spirit of consensus and dialogue, thereby also calling on Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement recommendations from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE-ODIHR) to improve democratic processes of future elections. Furthermore, no legislative or political steps should be taken which would make the implementation of the Sejdić-Finci ruling and related rulings more challenging, the Council underlined.

The Council reiterated its calls to all levels of governance in the country to ensure the effectiveness of the coordination mechanism on EU matters, including for the purpose of providing answers to the Commission's Opinion Questionnaire that the country received in December 2016.

The Council also welcomed the continued presence of Operation EUFOR Althea and confirmed the EU's readiness to continue at this stage the Operation’s executive military role to support the country’s authorities to maintain the safe and secure environment, under a renewed UN mandate.