Europe Day: symbol of EU’s commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina, speech by HoD/EUSR Ambassador Peter Sorensen

The following op-ed piece is published today, on May 8th in the Dnevni
avaz, Dnevni list and Nezavisne novine newspapers on the occasion of the
Europe Day:

”Tomorrow is Europe Day – the anniversary of the Schuman
Declaration of – and an occasion to celebrate how in the EU we have
overcome significant differences to shape a common future.  On 9 May
1950 Robert Schuman called for unification of Europe to make war on the
continent impossible and spread peace and prosperity globally.
the globe, people aspire to what we have built in the EU Member States:
strong personal rights and freedoms, democratic governance, rule of law
and a decent living. 
We cannot of course take these values
for granted. In today’s Europe, democracy is a constant work in
progress; we share a responsibility to safeguard and nurture it. And we
will stand by those who campaign for it.

When we engage, our
actions make a difference. Our citizens know that in the face of big
problems such as fragile states, pandemics, energy security, climate
change and migration, we are more effective together.

over the past years we have taken steps – such as the establishment of a
European External Action Service – to enable the EU to become a truly
global player, able to promote its values and interests around the
world.  Human rights is the silver thread that runs through EU foreign
policy, assisting democratic transitions around the globe and helping
oppressed minorities, social groups and NGOs to voice their concerns.
EU also has an important role to play in bringing together partners
around the world to achieve lasting peace and stability. Our High
Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, leads
the talks between the EU 3+3 (Germany, France and the United Kingdom as
well as U.S., China and Russia) with Iran. They resulted in an interim
agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme last November – a crucial step
towards making this world a safer and more secure place.
crises around the world, the EU adopts a comprehensive approach that
combines all the tools at our disposal: diplomatic, developmental,
military and economic. This allows us to address not just the symptoms,
but also the causes of the problems we face.
Here in Bosnia and
Herzegovina the EU has made a significant and concrete commitment. The
Delegation of the European Union, the Office of the EU Special
Representative, the EUFOR ALTHEA mission and the work of the Member
States represented here through their embassies is a powerful sign of
our main aim: that Bosnia and Herzegovina will become a Member State of
the EU once it has met the conditions. We are all here to assist your
authorities – but also civil society, media and citizens – in the effort
to get there. We do so in the firm belief that the journey will bring
real improvements to the lives of this country’s citizens.
is a special year for the EU. Ten years ago, ten new members joined our
Union. The 2004 enlargement was a crucial step towards overcoming
decades of division on our continent. Since then three new members have
joined; a testament to the continuing attraction of closer ties to the
This year is also special for European citizens. From 22-25 May
voters will go to the polls to cast their ballot in the elections to the
next European Parliament. This means citizens will have a clear say in
what should be the EU’s priorities for the next five years. 
four years ago, Robert Schuman took a decisive step towards what we
know as the European Union (EU) today. Now, Europe Day is an opportunity
for all of us: to commemorate past achievements, but also to look ahead
at how we can shape our European future together and promote peace and
prosperity at home and in the world.
I wish you a happy Europe Day!”