Extracts from the common press briefing by Štefan Füle, Tonio Borg, Vesna Pusić, Croatian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, and Zlatko Lagumdžija, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Type: Summary of press conference
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 19 June 2013, Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Tonio Borg, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, Zlatko Lagumdžija, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vesna Pusić, Croatian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, and Vjekoslav Bevanda, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, signed three important bilateral agreements between the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina at the European Commission, in Brussels.
The signature took place in the framework of the third Trilateral Ministerial meeting on border management issues in the light of the forthcoming accession of Croatia into the EU. The Joint Interpretative Note on the Neum/Ploče Agreement, the Border Crossing Point Agreement and the Local Border Traffic Agreement are fundamental for the smooth implementation of border management rules of the EU after the accession of Croatia.
On this occasion, Štefan Füle underlined that these agreements are a historical milestone in the EU integration process of the Western Balkan countries. In less than 2 weeks, the EU will be the direct neighbour of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country will benefit from the EU, now that it comes so close. The common market of the EU with more than 500 million inhabitants will be at the door of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This means great opportunities for all citizens and for the economy of the country. The EU has been able to grant Bosnia and Herzegovina a special transit regime for the export of agricultural products of animal origin from Bosnia and Herzegovina to third countries through the port of Ploče. Such derogations are extremely rare. They will allow the country to continue to use the port of Ploče in Croatia for its agri-food sector.
Štefan Füle and Tonio Borg reminded Bosnia and Herzegovina to transpose EU legislation and to set up the necessary administrative control structures to allow Bosnia and Herzegovina to export its agricultural products of animal origin to the EU, including Croatia.
Štefan Füle also encouraged Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue working with the good spirit of mutually acceptable solutions, in order also for Bosnia and Herzegovina to make considerable progress on its EU integration path.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Commission building in Brussels
||Arrival of Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Zlatko Lagumdžija, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tonio Borg, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, and Vesna Pusić, Croatian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs
||Soundbite by Štefan Füle (in ENGLISH): The agreements that are concluded today will help to considerably facilitate the day-to-day management of the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They will grant political and legal certainty, which is necessary for smooth border control and the crossing by persons and of goods.Croatia will have to implement the EU rules on border controls, on customs, on transit traffic and with regard to food-safety, veterinary and phytosanitary issues.
||Cutaway of the audience
||Soundbite by Štefan Füle (in ENGLISH): The agreement on border crossing points does not only fix the places of border crossing points on the longest border and the Western Balkans of more than one thousand kilometres. The agreement is also in full compliance with the EU requirements regarding border controls of persons and of goods. It will facilitate the exchange of goods between Croatia and EU with Bosnia & Herzegovina.
||Soundbite by Tonio Borg (in ENGLISH): This will ensure after Croatia's accession that exports of products of animal origin from Bosnia & Herzegovina can continue via the Croatian port of Ploče. This transit will cover all the requested products of animal origin. The Commission is ready to examine further requests if Bosnia & Herzegovina wishes to export additional products to third countries in the future. We can also look forward to a time when products from Bosnia & Herzegovina will be fully compliant with EU legislation and will not require such derogations and transitory provisions.
||Vesna Pusić and Vjekoslav Bevanda, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, taking their seats for the signature of the agreement in presence of Štefan Füle and Tonio Borg
||Cutaway of cameramen
||Vesna Pusić and Vjekoslav Bevanda signing the agreement (7 shots)
||Cutaway of photgraphers
||Vesna Pusić shaking hands with Vjekoslav Bevanda in presence with Štefan Füle, Tonio Borg and Zlatko Lagumdžija
||Vesna Pusić and Zlatko Lagumdžija signing the agreement (4 shots)
||Soundbite by Vesna Pusić (in ENGLISH): Croatia is entering on July 1st. We have been through a long process. We have transformed our country in this process. We have become a more functional country, a better organised country and we have become a country with greater capacity to face all the challenges ahead. And because of that, we are certain that it is a technique or a strategy that can do and, I am convinced, will do the same thing for Bosnia & Herzegovina.
||Soundbite by Vjekoslav Bevanda saying that this agreement will benefit both side of the border Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, and taking this opportunity to thank the negotiating team for the enormous effort made.
||Cutaway of a journalist