Mogherini: Historical event for BiH and EU

Mogherini: Historical event for BiH and EU

Sarajevo, February 23, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

In the presence of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, BiH Parliament adopted the joint statement on the commitment to BiH path to EU integration, which was signed by the leaders of 14 parties that have representatives in BiH Parliament.

In her speech to members of Parliament, Mogherini emphasized that this act represents historical event for BiH and EU. She said that with the adoption of this document, the Parliament and political leaders took responsibility for the future of the state and citizens.

“So, after today, the attention of this Parliament and all political institutions in the country will need to focus on concrete work. I see the following challenges as a priority: first of all the need to move ahead urgently with essential economic and social measures, in the framework of the Compact for Growth and Jobs in BiH. This is extremely urgent in light of the difficult socio-economic situation… The reforms to be undertaken aim at increasing the confidence in each other of investors and entrepreneurs, employers, employees and authorities. Increased confidence of this kind very often unlocks creativity and job creation. Also, the effects of the reforms should trickle down and result in improvements in healthcare, education and social services”, Mogherini said.

As other priorities, she emphasised the need to put in place the measures needed to build a functioning market economy,  the need to undertake further efforts to strengthen the rule of law and the process of reconciliation and the need to deepen administrative capacity, and so improve the efficiency of state institutions at all levels. Mogherini added that among the top priorities is the establishment of a well-functioning coordination mechanism on EU matters.

“It is necessary for any successful interaction with the EU when preparing for future EU membership and for the receipt of EU funding.  We also expect the deepening of the administrative capacities in the country which would enhance the efficiency of institutions at all levels”, Mogherini explained.

Chairman of BiH Presidency, Mladen Ivanic, said after Mogherini’s speech that he expect a fast response from EU institutions.

“In the next month I expect the positive response from european institutions and, right after that, ratification of Stabilization and association agreement”, Ivanic said.

He added that BiH must continue to work on reforms in order to get EU candidate status, which will open the biggest possible source of financial support. Ivanic said that economic reforms must be implemented but that EU doesn’t have a list of these reforms. It is, as he said, up to BiH politicians to agree on the priority of reforms in the economy.

It is interesting that Mogherini didn’t speak in front of all MPs of BiH Parliament. Delegates from Alliance of independent social democrats and Democratic peoples alliance, both from Republic of Srpska, left the room before she speaks, due to the presence of Parliament Spokesman, Sefik Dzaferovic. These parties are demanding his resignation because he is one of the persons who are mentioned in documents about war crimes against Serbs during the war in BiH. The leaderships of these parties decided to leave the room every time Dzaferovic is on the position of speaker, until his resignation.