It is my pleasure to welcome today in Brussels the Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As this is our first meeting in Mr. Bevanda’s new capacity, let me first congratulate him on his recent appointment.
I very much welcome the formation of the Government under his leadership. This demonstrates that the political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina are able to overcome their differences and develop a shared vision for a stable, prosperous and democratic future for their country.
With a new Government in place Bosnia and Herzegovina can now move forward with reforms and to achieve real progress in the EU integration. Political and economic reforms – adopting, implementing and enforcing laws – remain central on the path to the EU.
The EU welcomes the recent positive developments, including the adoption of State Aid Law and Law on Census. At the same time, we hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina will step up efforts on the remaining issues to enable the entry into force of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement as soon as possible. We look forward to and expect credible steps in bringing the Constitution in line with the European Convention on Human Rights.
The EU remains committed to the European perspective of the whole Western Balkans. In the past few months, important decisions have been taken in Brussels affecting the future of Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo, to mention just a few.
With other countries in the Western Balkans taking resolute steps towards the EU, there is no reason why Bosnia and Herzegovina should slip behind. The European Union stands ready to provide the necessary support and assistance, both here in Brussels as well as through our reinforced presence on the ground, to advance reforms and help the country fulfill its European aspirations.
Once again, we recognise the commitment and energy with which Prime Minister Bevanda is addressing the European agenda and current economic challenges. I look forward to further collaboration with him and with Bosnia and Herzegovina and I expect to receive news of further progress soon.
Herman VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council meets with Vjekoslav BEVANDA, Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina – arrival and roundtable video footage