Statement of EUD/EUSR on development of an initial Reform Agenda

We share the disappointment already expressed by Commissioner Hahn that yesterday’s Round Table had to be postponed. Although extensive consultations among all levels of government in the country have been undertaken, it did not prove possible for the authorities in BiH to complete the process of agreeing on their final Reform Agenda as quickly as had been expected.

Most issues that are reflected in the current draft of the Reform Agenda were agreed between the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and the two Entity Prime Ministers during a retreat in Jahorina in early May already and work to produce the final Reform Agenda will continue. We note in this regard that drafts that have been discussed in the media to date are only preliminary and not the final version. The Council of Ministers and FBiH government expressed their support for the broad outlines of a preliminary draft. The Republika Srpska authorities submitted detailed and constructive comments on the preliminary draft over last weekend and most of these will be incorporated in the next version. The Council of Ministers and the FBiH also have made useful comments that have now been incorporated.

We urge BiH authorities to find agreement on the outstanding issues without delay, in order to maintain and build on the positive dynamics created in the past months. The EU will continue to assist in any way possible. We look forward to agreement on a final Reform Agenda that will soon move BiH one step further on the path to EU accession. Moreover, by committing to move ahead with much-needed economic reforms, this will also allow the governments to work on specific arrangements to support the reforms with the international financial institutions—including the IMF, World Bank, IFC and EBRD.

The development of a Reform Agenda and meaningful progress in its implementation subsequently, will be necessary for a membership application of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be considered by the EU.