BANJA LUKA – The meeting of foreign ministers of Central European Initiative member states, which was held on Thursday, July 16, in Banja Luka, represents the support to BiH’s efforts to make the next step on its path to the European Union, obtaining a positive assessment of the Council on Foreign Relations at the session in July, stated the BiH Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak.
“In this context the support of member states of the CEI for us is of paramount importance and therefore this conference is very encouraging for the continuation of BiH’s EU integration”, said Crnadak at a press conference.
The main topics of the conference were the issues of migration and the fight against terrorism, respectively, indicating the need for cooperation between the participating countries on these issues.
The meeting was attended by foreign ministers of Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia and Belarus. Other countries, members of the CEI, were represented by deputy foreign ministers and state secretaries in the ministries.
Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn was the guest of this ministerial conference.
Agreement on the European Partnership
The agreement on the European Partnership will be signed soon, stated in Banja Luka the ministers of foreign affairs of BiH and Croatia Igor Crnadak and Miro Kovač.
Kovač has expressed strong support of Croatia for BiH’s European integration process. As he said, certain bilateral issues will be dealt with through dialogue, in a constructive way.
He pointed out that his country wishes all three constituent peoples in BiH to be happy and to organize their country in a way that would suit everyone.
Crnadak said that he expects that the procedure of ratification of the Agreement on the European Partnership BiH and Croatia will be finalized by the end of July, at a bilateral meeting in Zagreb, and that the agreement will be signed, thus creating a formal framework of Croatia’s support to BiH’s European path.
Crnadak and Kovač agreed to hold a joint session of BiH and Croatia, but is not yet possible to specify a date.
Kurz meets with Ivanić
BiH must implement the necessary reforms set on the European path and improve the rule of law for the sake of efficient government, stated the Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria Sebastian Kurz.
BiH needs courageous politicians who, he said, will firmly implement these necessary reforms on the European path.
In Banja Luka Kurz also met with the BiH Presidency member Mladen Ivanić, who told him that there are “problems that arose in BiH after the controversial decision on the adoption of a uniform methodology for data processing of the census results in BiH“. He added that he expects “the return to the policy of consensus rather than outvoting“.
Austrian Foreign Minister only expressed his country’s readiness to support BiH on its European path. He said that two parties, Austrian People’s Party whose deputy chairman is Kurz, and Party of Democratic Progress whose member is Ivanić, both members of the European People’s Party, combine pro-European stance and will continue good cooperation.