Reform agenda doesn’t have an alternative

Reform agenda doesn’t have an alternative


Just a day after prime ministers of Western Balkan countries held the summit in Sarajevo and concluded that their states will join efforts on the regional way to European Union, BiH capital hosted another very important meeting which defined the further steps in state future which will end with EU membership and fulfilment of conditions of International Monetary Fund to continue the financial agreement with BiH.

Entity PMs, Zeljka Cvijanovic and Fadil Novalic, BiH Council of Ministers Chairman, Denis Zvizdic, EU High Commissioner for enlargement, Johannes Hahn, and many other officials met on Friday to summarize what the governments on all levels have done in the implementation of Reform agenda, document which is essential for cooperation on the state path toward EU. As usual, after the meeting all participants were very optimistic and stated that BiH is firmly on this course.

RS PM, Zeljka Cvijanovic, stated after the meeting that RS advocates agreement on all matters regarding the implementation of the Reform Agenda and that it must be visible in all documents.

Cvijanovic said she was not happy with the attitude towards the implementation of the agenda in the scope of the overall system in BiH.

“We must change our approach to reforms, work much more and talk much less”, Cvijanovic said.

She stressed that RS fulfilled 55 percent of all its obligations under the Agenda, which is not the case at the Federation and BiH state level.

Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers, Denis Zvizdić, repeated the commitment of this joint BiH institution to carry out reforms aimed at European integration and economic development. He added that the reform process needs to be followed with increased volume of investment in projects that BiH proposed, and which would be financed under conditions favorable for BiH.

“I asked for more resources to be directed to support the development and strengthening of small and medium-sized enterprises, employment support, and infrastructure”, Zvizdić pointed out.

Federal Prime Minister Fadil Novalić stated that this month was the month of presence of the region and Europe in BiH, which is seen as a support BiH on its path towards stability, reforms and EU. He explained that in the meeting participants talked about the reforms which are already done and what are the results, with the definition of what represents the difficulties and what should BiH might need as a help to overcome these difficulties.

EU Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, said at the press conference after the meeting that BiH must keep the positive momentum of reforms and that he expects that BiH will submit answers to the European Commission Questionnaire by July, since it would be in accordance with the informally agreed dynamics.

It is necessary to see concrete results, because reforms are very often perceived as painful.

“You can’t see results overnight. We want to show to the citizens the specific possibilities, consequences and quickly achievable results of reforms”, Hahn said.

Among those results is the adoption of the Rulebook on Prices of Medicines, which allowed for 10 to 20 percent cuts, as well as an increase in the number of registered businesses by building the sector of private small and medium enterprises. Hahn emphasized that it those steps are the first concrete steps which show to the citizens that things are changing, and added that more work should be done in that respect.

Participants agreed that the EU perspective of BiH is a reality but that there are many obligations which state governments must fulfill, and that cooperation is the best way for the future of BiH and its citizens./IBNA