The outcome of the coming elections for the European Parliament and the new composition of the European Commission will not have an effect on the European Union’s attitude and relations towards Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EU door will always remain open to Bosnia, on condition that the country implements reforms that are expected of it, the EU High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Peter Sorensen, said in an interview with the Sarajevo-based Oslobodjenje daily.
Sorensen said that all 28 EU member states confirmed this position at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council last week, when one of the topics was the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Danish diplomat, however, called on the authorities in Bosnia to take a more serious approach to reforms, warning that the elections in Bosnia, scheduled for October, must not cause a stay in the reform process.
Blocking the bodies of the authority is unacceptable, Sorensen said, explaining that the EU’s cooperation with the authorities in Bosnia would be very active during the election year as well. Explaining the EU’s current position towards Bosnia, Sorensen said that based on conclusions adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council, it was clear that the activities would be expanded with an emphasis on the economic front. Lack of economic growth has been one of the reasons for protests earlier this year in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the diplomat said, adding that dialogue on the economy would be launched so as to identify areas that require immediate action.
A special task force, what has already been set up, will work on activating funds which Bosnia could receive through EU’s pre-accession funds, Sorensen said adding that a discussion on judiciary reform has already been launched so as to intensify the fight against corruption.
The high representative, however, warned that the main conditions for Bosnia ‘s progress towards EU membership would not be changed, adding that the conditions included the establishment of a single coordinating mechanism between Sarajevo and Brussels and the implementation of the ruling in the Sejdic-Finci case, handed down by the European Court of Human Rights, namely removing discrimination against members of national minorities from the election legislation.