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Džaferović: A message on clear European perspective sent from the summit

Text: Hana Imamović, FENA Photo/Hazim Aljović

SARAJEVO, May 6 (FENA) – Chairman of the BiH Presidency Šefik Džaferović said today that the most important message from today's "European Union - Western Balkans" summit in Zagreb is a clear European perspective of all Western Balkan countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“The European Union is incomplete and will not be complete until all the Western Balkan countries join the institutions of the European Union, and this has been very clearly said today,” Džaferović said in an interview with FENA.

He singled out the coronavirus pandemic as the second message from the summit, which speaks of solidarity because this crisis has shown that people and states are much more inclined to each other.

Solidarity which, after the initial shock in the European Union caused by the situation in some countries, is expressed towards the countries of the Western Balkans is something that deserves respect, and Džaferović stressed that BiH appreciates it because the EU is the most generous donor to the Western Balkans, especially BiH.

“The EU gives the strongest support to BiH in the fight against the pandemic in terms of health and in terms of revitalization of our economy,” added Džaferović.

He also said that an important message has been sent from the summit on the regional cooperation of the Western Balkan countries, stating that mutual relations should be resolved on the basis of talks and agreements, and where this is not the case according to the principles of international law.

He assessed that the path to European institutions and the path to EU membership leads, among other things, through quality regional cooperation.

“These are the most important messages of the summit, which comes at a difficult time when the whole world is facing with the pandemic and when the whole world is fighting this challenge, and the EU has found the strength and the way to organize such a summit and address the Western Balkan countries through video conference,” said Džaferović.

As the BiH Presidency Chairman emphasized, a lot of things now depend on Bosnia and Herzegovina itself and relations in BiH, as well as on the reforms that need to be undertaken.

“After the German-British initiative from December 2014 and significant steps of BiH on the path to the EU in the last few years due to relations within BiH and policies that primarily look after their interests, and only then the European path of BiH, we have had a significant deadlock,” recalls Džaferović.

He expressed hope that this blockade had ended after the Presidency's decision to restart BiH's European path and that BiH would move forward, adding that this crisis showed that people inside BiH were much more focused on each other than one might imagine.

According to Džaferović, this pandemic crisis has shown that mutual relations will be easier to deal with and that necessary reforms will be easier to make in order for BiH to become a more credible candidate for EU membership.

“We hope that during the next enlargement package, which will be in June, we will enter the candidate phase for EU membership,” BiH Presidency Chairman Šefik Džaferović concluded in an interview with FENA.