Ministarstvo vanjskih i europskih poslova

Croatia in favour of opening BiH's EU entry talks as soon as possible

Croatia will support BiH's efforts to open EU membership talks as soon as possible, and during the negotiation process Zagreb is ready to provide Sarajevo with all the necessary professional and technical support, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said in Sarajevo on Friday.
During his official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Grlić Radman met with that country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elmedin Konaković, and afterwards the Croatian minister told the press that he welcomes the political effort and patience that Bosnia and Herzegovina has shown so far in order to make progress on its European integration journey, adding that agreement and compromise are a guarantee for further progress.
He pointed out that Croatia permanently cares for the stability of the Western Balkans, as well as BiH, and at the same time consistently promotes the policy of cooperation and partnership with the desire to strengthen good neighbourly relations.
He recalled that today the EU itself is faced with numerous challenges, including the enlargement process, but Croatia's position remains clear.
"Croatia strongly advocates that the accession negotiations be opened as soon as possible," Grlić Radman said, calling on the political partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue the implementation of reforms, including changes to the electoral legislation.
He added that he expects a "positive decision" from the European Council by the end of the year, because the recommendations of the European Commission on the opening of accession negotiations will be considered at the level of heads of state or government of the Union during December, which means that it is not excluded that BiH will receive the "green light" for accession negotiations.
He stressed that so far Croatia has been helping BiH by transferring knowledge, and now he is proposing the establishment of a joint commission on European partnership. This means that Croatia would make available its knowledge and expertise to BiH, from the establishment of negotiation structures to understanding the process and communication with European institutions.
Konaković: 'Last opportunity' for European integration
Minister Konaković said Croatia is one of the most vocal advocates of BiH's European integration, adding that now his country has a unique opportunity to catch "perhaps the last serious opportunity" for to European integration.
"Our primary and top priority is integration into the EU," said Konaković, who hopes for a quick opening of accession negotiations and believes that the balance of power within the EU will not prevail in favour of the opponents of enlargement. Dodik, on the other hand, said that the closure of the OHR and the reorganisation of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina will not happen until the situation in the country is permanently stabilised.
He said that Croatia's help will mean a lot for improving the process of European integration in BiH itself.
Konaković described the bilateral relations as good and friendly, recalling that Croatia and BiH are bound by strong political and economic ties.
In Sarajevo, Minister Grlić Radman met separately with the chairwoman of the BiH Council of Ministers, Borjana Krišto, and members of the joint European integration committee of the two houses of the BiH parliament.
Text: Hina/MVEP

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