EU-BiH: Start of the political dialogue on accession
The European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) held the first ever meeting of the High Level Dialogue on the accession process in Brussels on Wednesday. The purpose of the Dialogue is to start a process with the country to explain the EU accession process in both political and technical terms. "You started the political dialogue on EU accession process here today," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle summarised the result of the discussion which produced joint conclusions and a Roadmap for BiH's EU membership application.
The European Union was represented by him and Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik as well as a number of experts. Bosnia and Herzegovina was represented by its institutional leaders from all levels of authority, including Chair of the BiH Presidency Bakir Izetbegović, Chair of the Council of Ministers Vjekoslav Bevanda, entity and Brčko representatives. The leaders of main political parties also attended.
"The EU wants Bosnia and Herzegovina to become a member State when the necessary conditions are met. We convened this Dialogue to assist the country's leaders on how to prepare and how to navigate the accession process. In particular we discussed the urgent need for a co-ordination mechanism between all competent levels of authority regarding EU matters. The leaders must address this issue," Commissioner Füle stressed.
The participants had an extensive exchange of views on numerous political, legal and technical questions which Bosnia and Herzegovina will have to tackle over the next months and years in order to prepare well for the process after an application for membership in the European Union. "We know that the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina want to see progress. The progress on the EU agenda matters to the people and is expected from the leaders in the country. It is high time for concrete steps to be made, not least in showing credible efforts to implement the judgement in the case of Sejdić-Finci. The European Commission will continue to support Bosnia and Herzegovina politically, technically and financially on its path towards EU accession," Commissioner Füle remarked.