Director-General Danielsson congratulated the BiH authorities for the progress demonstrated in the last months, including as regards the implementation of the Reform Agenda, the adoption of the coordination mechanism, and the initialling of the SAA Adaptation Protocol.
“I am encouraged by the achievements of Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities over the past year and look forward further engaging with them over the next steps“, said Mr. Danielsson.
Director-General Danielsson and Chairman Zvizdić also discussed the steps to be taken by Bosnia and Herzegovina in the context of today’s Council decision on asking for the Commission Opinion on the country’s’ EU membership application. Mr Danielsson underlined that the Commission is ready to immediately follow up on the Council request and engage with Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities for the preparations. Mr Danielsson also stressed that it will be essential for Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, at all levels, to maintain a strong focus on reforms, including the further implementation of the Reform Agenda. Director-General Danielsson and Chairman Zvizdić also discussed the need for the country to proceed with the adoption of country-wide strategies in areas such as agriculture, employment, energy or environment, in order to be able to fully benefit from the EU funds available. Mr Danielsson also stressed the need for Bosnia and Herzegovina to deliver on the necessary measures in order to reap the full benefits from its participation in the connectivity agenda.
Bosnia and Herzegovina applied for EU membership in February 2016. The EU Council of December 2015 spelled out the condition for the Council to consider the BiH application. Specifically, EU Council required “meaningful progress in the implementation of the Reform Agenda”. At the same time, Bosnia and Herzegovina was also expected to finalise an agreement with the EU on the adaptation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement following the accession of Croatia to the EU and establish an effective coordination mechanism on EU matters. General Affairs Council of 20 September 2016 acknowledged the progress done by the country in meeting the conditionality set by the EU and invited the European Commission to submit an Opinion on the merits of the Bosnia and Herzegovina application for EU membership.