The EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, today in Sarajevo urged the authorities and political parties in BiH to continue working to pass necessary laws and strategies, primarily a strategy on agriculture and rural development and a set of laws on excise taxes.
After a meeting with the Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers, Denis Zvizdic, Hahn has said that he was pleased to hear that a number of measures BiH needs to implement have been prepared or are near completion.
“The most important thing is to submit answers to the European Commission’s Questionnaire,” Hahn has said and explained that this needs to happen as soon as possible so that the EU could launch certain internal processes.
According to Hahn, one of important measures BiH needs to implement is to adopt the remaining strategies which must not remain only a dead letter on the paper.
He has said that the strategy on rural development is important so that the authorities would know what to do and how to widen the agricultural sector and enable the export of agricultural products to the EU.
“The lack of strategic documents means not only the failure to get money from European Funds but this also prevents the creation of new jobs for citizens,” Hahn has said and added that this holds true also for the set of laws on excise taxes the passage of which would enable the financing of a road network.
Zvizdic has said that he informed Hahn that 85% of answers to the European Commission’s Questionnaire have already been translated, that more that 96% of the questions have been answered and that 1%-2% of answers will be agreed at other levels of the coordination mechanism.
According to Zvizdic, if there are no gratuitous political blockades, answers to the Questionnaire will be completed by the end of the year, ten days before or after the year’s end.
He has said that he informed the European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Accession Negotiations about the procedure of passage of a set of laws on excise taxes and on Deposit Insurance Agency which would enable the implementation of measures for the arrangement with the IMF and a number of loans for construction of road infrastructure.
When it comes to strategies – the rural and energy ones – Zvizdic has said that he expects that Hahn will emphasize the importance of their passage at meetings with political party leaders today so that they could be adopted in the next two weeks.
Zvizdic has added that the passage of these strategies would enable BiH to get 50 million Euros.
The Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers has said that he told Hahn that the activation of the NATO Membership Action Plan would increase the level of security in BiH and the region.
“It is our intention that the new EU strategy, which will be published in February, treats BiH as a country which harmonized the dynamics of European integration with other countries of the Western Balkans and which will be included in the next enlargement of the EU to the region,” Zvizdic has said.