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Bosnian leader hopeful on EU step by year end

| 2023-11-20 2 min read

Bosnian leader hopeful on EU step by year end

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) intends to fulfil the conditions set by the European Commission (EC) to open accession negotiations before the end of the year, BiH leader Borjana Kristo said in an interview with Euractiv.

She was speaking after a EC candidates’ progress report gave BiH a conditional green light to start negotiations, having received EU candidate country status at the end of 2022.

“The positive report gives us a strong incentive to continue working harder, faster, and better to fulfil the remaining criteria to finally get the final date for the opening of negotiations,” the BiH council of ministers chairwoman added. “I am convinced we will fulfil all the remaining conditions by the end of this year.”

She said a tranche of European laws is already in process, and she expects the Council of Ministers of BiH to adopt them within a month. The laws refer to courts, conflicts of interest, money laundering and financing terrorism, and the BiH High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council. She underlined that Sarajevo still harmonises its visa regime with that of the EU.

Kristo thanks Croatian PM

“Many reform processes that we have already discussed need to go faster, but we are also working on that, and it is undeniable that we are on the right track. Likewise, the continuous support of our European friends is, quite clearly, of great importance. I have to single out the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic,” said Kristo.

“I constantly call on all political actors in BiH to concentrate our discussions on the future and reforms, not on the past and divisions. Together, we must urgently proceed with the implementation of the remaining European reforms by the end of this year, especially the electoral reform in BiH, which is emerging as one of the key issues in the reform process of our country”, Kristo added.

“Certainly, there are a lot of unresolved domestic political issues… We must discuss all open issues, seek a compromise, and move forward,” Kristo said. She added that the Council of Ministers will soon agree on cooperation with the EU border control body Frontex.

“The chances are real,” she told Euractiv. “Now we just need a little extra political courage and will to finally finalise these reforms.”