Oliver Varhelyi, Member of the European Union (EU) Commission responsible for enlargement, met with President of the Presidential Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zeljka Cvijanovic, Croatian member of the council, Zeljko Komsic, and Bosniak member Denis Becirovic, within the scope of his official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Making a statement to the journalists after the meeting, Varhelyi reminded that the European Parliament made a proposal to give Bosnia and Herzegovina “candidate country” status and said, “Giving candidate country status is a decision made by our EU member states. “It is a proposal for its citizens and politicians. While doing all this, I think that we are very transparent and that our proposal to give Bosnia and Herzegovina ‘candidate country’ status is clear,” he said.
Noting that the proposal brought “great expectations”, Varhelyi said, “Bosnia and Herzegovina’s path to the EU is open, but the results are awaited and we expect it to be implemented without further delay. It is up to politicians to make it a reality.”
“In the last six weeks, everything has been developing faster than ever before”
Varhelyi said, “We want to see clear and concrete results. I hope Bosnia and Herzegovina will get candidate status. The Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina must adopt all measures that will enable progress towards the European Union.”
Noting that they have seen positive developments since the proposal to grant Bosnia and Herzegovina a “candidate country” status, Varhelyi said, “In the last six weeks, everything has been developing faster than ever before. We have high expectations, otherwise we would not be busy. We have great expectations from the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That’s why we want to work for the benefit of the citizens of this country and help them move forward on the path to the EU.”
“The EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina are inextricably linked”
President of Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential Council Cvijanovic said, “We talked about what needs to be done in the coming period to improve the process between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is important that this process is built on mutual trust and a better political understanding.”
Bosnian member of the Presidential Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Becirovic, underlined that his country wants full membership to the EU and thanked Varhelyi for their support to his country. “The enlargement of the EU is an important issue for the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans. The EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina are inextricably linked,” Becirovic said.
14 key priorities
In the 2022 Enlargement Report presentation of the Commission, which he made in the European Parliament on October 12, Varhelyi announced that a proposal was made to grant the status of “candidate country” to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is a “potential candidate” country.
Stating that the EU will continue to monitor Bosnia and Herzegovina on issues such as the fight against corruption, freedom of expression and press, and legal reforms, Varhelyi emphasized the importance of implementing the “14 priorities”.
The European Council stated that it was ready to grant candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina on 23 June and invited the Commission to submit a report on the implementation of 14 key priorities.