Pusic: EU should conceive special accession model for Bosnia

(Hina) Croatia is pushing for the European Union to conceive a specific approach to Bosnia and Herzegovina to deal with the outstanding issues that have been set as prerequisites for launching the accession process, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Vesna Pusic said in Brussels on Monday. Speaking before a meeting of the EU"s 28 foreign ministers, she said this specific model of drawing closer to the EU "doesn"t have to be called screening. It can have another name and precede screening." Pusic said she asked this morning that the Bosnian issue be put on the agenda of the ministerial meeting because the Council of the EU "should say something about it", and that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton would mention Bosnia at the beginning of the meeting. Pusic said the pre-accession model would serve to deal with some outstanding issues, such as the enforcement of the Sejdic-Finci ruling, so that those issues were not a prerequisite for launching the accession process, as was now the case. Commenting on last week"s demonstrations in Bosnia"s Federation entity, Pusic said it was "unusually important for such events not to turn ethnic." "It is very important that all politicians, public figures who have any responsibility, not push in that direction. If there is something all BiH citizens support regardless of ethnicity, it"s the country"s path towards European integration. That"s one of the rare things that has legitimacy in the public and I will push at today"s meeting for conceiving a specific approach, a process intended for Bosnia and Herzegovina which could begin before the launch of the classic accession process," said Pusic. Asked to comment on the statement by the international community"s High Representative to Bosnia, Valentin Inzko, that it might be necessary to send European troops to Bosnia, she said there were tendencies to calm down the situation. "I think it"s quite clear to people what comes from chaos. Only something worse can come from chaos. I think this is Europe"s moment, an important moment to show initiative towards BiH, some tangible and swift step forward." Pusic also commented on statements by BiH Presidency members Željko Komšic and Bakir Izetbegovic that Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic should not have visited Mostar yesterday but Sarajevo. "We are here as an EU member state and the EU has its say in BiH, which has European prospects, and Croatia additionally as an EU member state which supports BiH"s European prospects and which shares (with BiH) a border over 1,000 km long," Pusic said.

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