Home EU integration Is Stabilization and Accession to the EU a Priority for BH Authorities?

Is Stabilization and Accession to the EU a Priority for BH Authorities?

Dragan Covic, Johannes Hahn

The implementation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement is an indication that domestic politicians are not in a hurry to join the European family. Thus, we have a delay in holding meetings of bodies in charge of activities under the Agreement, which is ultimately an obligation. The SAA has been blocked for some time, and politicians mostly remember it when it comes to the import or export of meat products.

Footage from 2008 testifies to the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union. And this very event marked, as local politicians assured, the opening of the door to the European future of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to persuasion, there were also promises. And that Bosnia and Herzegovina will meet all the conditions of the SAA and work to improve the lives of citizens.

Today, in 2022, the Directorate for European Integration (DEI) warns that due to the political stalemate in the EU integration process, no preparations have been made for negotiations with the EU. They also prepared a report for the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which states the devastating results of the government’s work in the past year.

“Given that the institutions of all levels of government did not meet the deadlines, there was a significant delay in drafting the document. Therefore, the Amendment to the Annex to the Institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina was not made. The Directorate prepared the Annex and sent it to the Council of Ministers for adoption in June.” but due to political stalemate, the Council of Ministers did not adopt it during 2021,” it was stated in the report.

In practice, that means a stalemate on the road to the European Union, because the government almost does not adhere to the obligations under the SAA. Thus, when it comes to coordination in the process of European integration, no meetings of the Stabilization and Association Committee were held.

“Activities on the drafting of the Program of Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the European Union continued in 2021, but since the middle of the year the working group for European integration has not met the deadlines defined in the action plans, and the deadline of 15 months has not been met,” it was stated from DEI.

Lazar Prodanovic, Member of the Parliamentary Committee “Last year, we had two meetings at which the rules of procedure were adopted and later confirmed with an identical parliamentary delegation of the EU Parliament, and that is one of the obligations that Bosnia and Herzegovina has fulfilled within these 14 priorities according to the 2019 report.”

Sasa Magazinovic, member of the Parliamentary Committee “The Directorate is a tool of the Council of Ministers and Bosnia and Herzegovina and the best indicator when an institution specializing in EU integration ridicules its bosses, ie the Council of Ministers that does nothing, then everything is clear to you.”

When it comes to the political sphere, many things in the SAA do not work. The part concerning the free trade agreement between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union works because, after all, we mostly export to the European Union. But there is also a need to adapt the SAA, according to the state foreign trade minister. Meat is imported into our country duty-free and protective measures are necessary. But there is no political agreement.

It is thus clear that the process of approaching the European Union is only a declarative priority for the domestic authorities, because it is obvious that the political blockades in state institutions have spilled over into the blockade of obligations on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s path to the European Union.




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