Croatian Ambassador in Sarajevo Ivan Sabolic said Bosnia will have his country's full support on its European integration path during Croatia's presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of this year.
EU membership is Bosnia and Herzegovina's strategic goal and the desire of a significant part of its population, he said on Saturday at an event which the Croatian Embassy in Sarajevo organised on the occasion of Croatia's EU presidency.
"Croatia is willing to help Bosnia and Herzegovina on that path with its fresh negotiating process experience as well as its status as a European Union member state. We will push for Bosnia and Herzegovina's possible progress towards candidate status," Sabolic said.
Croatia now has the chance, in partnership with the member states and all institutions, to make its special contribution to Europe and one of the priorities is strengthening the European prospects of Southeast Europe, he added.
"We will push for the continuation of a consistent, effective and credible enlargement policy based on the confirmed European perspective of the candidates and the potential candidates, with the full meeting of the defined criteria. As the youngest member state, we are aware of the transforming power of the accession process. The European idea of unity encourages change, suppresses the syndromes and myths of the past, introduces new rules and new values."
Sabolic said it was clear that European unification could not end before all the Southeast European countries gradually became EU members. Therefore, he said, enlargement should be confirmed as a component of the idea of a united Europe.
"We can talk about the pace but we must not bring the goal into question. It's a process in which no one must give up. It's necessary to encourage constant and persevering dialogue. It's a door we want to keep open," he said.