Opening of EU entry talks big achievement for BiH

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The European Council's decision on opening accession negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina is a big achievement thanks to our neighbours' constructive political will and readiness for dialogue and compromise, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Saturday.
The European Council on Thursday adopted a decision on opening accession negotiations with BiH, telling BiH that its place is in the European family.
"This big Bosnia and Herzegovina success shows that goals are achievable when there is political will and readiness for democratic dialogue and compromise," Grlić Radman said after talks with his BiH counterpart Elmedin Konaković.
Grlić Radman said he was confident those principles would be the basis of further progress in the European integration process.
With time, all important political topics will be on the agenda, including a reform of the election law that will ensure the equality of the constituent peoples and issues related to the Constitutional Court, he said.
"But what's key is that in the current complex geopolitical circumstances, BiH was ready to seize the right moment and show its reform capacity," he added.
It is necessary to continue with reforms as that will make BiH's progress in European integration more successful, he said.
"The goal is now clearly visible on the horizon, which is full EU membership... I don't doubt that BiH, by continuing to work towards that strategic goal, will become a member of the European Union," Grlić Radman said, adding that Croatia and BiH depend on each other and that it's important they share "the same values."
BiH can continue to count on full political, diplomatic and expert support from Zagreb, he said.
Konaković thanked Croatia for the "firm and constant support" and said Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković was "the engine of the events which preceded the European Council decision," alluding to Plenković's meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Sarajevo in late January.
"Compromise and dialogue paid off. We adopted 16 European laws. The Council of the EU assessed that we did more in 13 months than in the last ten years. We boarded that European train... This was a small miracle that would not have happened without our friends," Konaković said.
BiH must continue to deal with harder issues and challenges, he said, adding that the country is fully aligned with the EU foreign and security policy.
Konaković hopes that BiH could be given a negotiating framework in a few months.
Croatia is BiH's main trade partner and in economic terms, BiH has no alternative but the EU, he said.
"There is no person or individual who could offer better living conditions for citizens than the EU. We are also looking forward to the growth plan for the Western Balkans. It's a financial injection which should help our economy grow even faster, just as the integration of ours into the European market. The imperative for us is... to get a negotiating framework," Konaković said.
Text: Hina

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