European Western Balkans

Zvizdić: I expect that BiH will become an EU candidate in 2019

Denis Zvizdić; Photo: European Commission

SARAJEVO – During his press conference on recently held Summits in Sofia (16 + 1), London and Brussels (Stabilisation and Association Council), Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Denis Zvizdić assessed these events favourably. He highlighted economic cooperation and Bosnia’s European integration process as the areas that benefited the most.

Zvizdić informed the media about his meeting with Prime Minister of Romania during the Summit between China and Central and Eastern European Countries in Sofia. “It is important for us that focus on Western Balkans, established during the Bulgaria’s Presidency, be continued during that period, in which we expect to be confirmed as a EU candidate country”, he explained.

“Bosnia completed the Questionnaire sent by European Union in February this year. We received additional 655 questions, and I do not expect that there will be any more conditions for gaining a candidate status. I expect that to happen in the first quarter of 2019”, said Zvizdić, adding that it is very important for the process of answering the questions to be separated from the current election campaign.

Reflecting on the Berlin Process Summit in London, Zvizdić emphasised the fact that three of the nine connectivity projects that were agreed upon will be carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also welcomed the adoption of the regional investment agenda, which covers transport, energy sector and digital infrastructure.

“Some people are talking about the establishment of some kind of new Yugoslavia, but that is completely separated from reality. It is an initiative to increase the trade in the region by 50%”, Zvizdić stated.

Chairman of the Council of Ministers also reflected on the regional cooperation, expressing his view that it should be state institutions, and not ethnic groups, leading the process.

“Bosnian Serbs have one country and it is called Bosnia and Herzegovina. Serbs across the border also have only one country, and it is called Serbia. States should be the ones cooperating, and not peoples. This is where my opinion differs from, for example, President Vučić”, he said.

Finally, Zvizdić summarized the third meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council, stating that Bosnia will adopt its forth strategy – energy sector, in the context of preparation for gaining the candidate status.

“The door of EU remain open for the whole region. European perspective is still the main motivating factor for every Western Balkan country. It incentivises greater economic cooperation, good neighbourly relations and peace and stability in the region”, concluded Zvizdić.

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