European Western Balkans

European Commission and BiH initiate Protocol on adaptation of SAA

SARAJEVO – The head of the European Union Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina Lars-Gunnar Wigemark and the head of the negotiating team of BiH with EU Hamdo Tinjak initialed today in Sarajevo the Protocol on the adaptation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement after the Croatian accession to the European Union.

The Protocol provides for technical adaptation of the trade part of the SAA provisions related to export from BiH to the EU market and export to the EU  in BiH, taking into account the Croatian accession to the EU in July 2013, and avoiding disruption of bilateral trade.

This afternoon the text of the procotol will be presented to EU member states, announced ambassador Wigemark. He said that this is a good agreement for both sides.

“We will in turn continue to work to mitigate any possible negative consequences that some of the farmers could experience”, said Wigemark.

Tinjak said that this is an extremely important moment for BiH.

„Although at first it seemed that this is a technical issue, it turns out in the end that this is a very important political moment. And it is political moment for Bosnia and Herzegovina that we move forward in European integration, this is a new moment to get the momentum on the European path and step by step go ahead in the European integration process“, said Tinjak.

Minister of Foreign Trade and Econimic Relations of BiH Mirko Šarović also attended the ceremony. He said that this really is an important moment for BiH, not only due to the initialing of the adapted SAA, but also in order to unblock the BiH progress towards EU membership. He addes that now we expect positive signals from Brussels

„I think this one might be the most important moment, very important. I think that the weeks and months ahead will show it because it eliminated one of the important, if not the key obstacles or outstanding issues, which will enable us to get the candidate status“, said Šarović.

The agreement is based on the mutual interests of both parties and takes into account the fundamental categories of sensitive products of the BiH side and is comparable to similar agreements with other countries of the Western Balkans.

From the date of its provisional application, the EU will automatically re-introduce trade preferences for exports from BiH to the EU market for certain agricultural products, such as fruits and vegetables.

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