The parliamentary assembly's in both houses of Bosnia and Herzegovina's parliament on Wednesday sent a request for the country to be awarded European Union candidate status in a fast-track procedure for the purpose of preserving the country's stability.
The letter, sent by the presidents of the House of Peoples and the House of Representatives, Dragan Covic and Nebojsa Radmanovic respectively to the European Council ahead of its two-day summit meeting, also highlights the importance of the amendment of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s electoral law and Constitution.
The letter which was also forwarded to the European Parliament, the foreign ministers of EU member-states and to the United Kingdom, reads that members of both houses of the parliament are unanimous in urging the EU to grant candidate status to BiH.
Our request comes at a time of serious challenges for the European continent. We are deeply aware of the radical worsening of international political, economic and security circumstances, which cause a feeling of insecurity and security threats among our population whose interests can be protected only through the accelerated integration into the European Union, reads the letter.
Covic and Radmanovic also warn about the urgency of implementing the electoral reform and limited changes to the Constitution so as to enable the direct implementation of the election results at the next general elections, which BiH is set to hold in October.
We believe that the speedy implementation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s priorities accelerates its journey towards its strategic goal, high European standards of the rule of law and democratic governance, reads the letter.
EU-Western Balkans leaders’ meeting set for Thursday morning in Brussels
On 23-24 June, the European Council will discuss the wider Europe, Ukraine, EU membership applications from Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.
Ahead of the European Council meeting EU and Western Balkan leaders will meet on the morning of 23 June in Brussels.
The meeting will build on the existing close ties between the EU and the Western Balkans. Leaders will discuss progress on EU integration and the challenges stemming from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, says the European Council.
The meeting will also be an opportunity to take stock of progress on key investments under the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans (EIP), discuss geostrategic issues, explore ways to foster people-to-people contacts, and promote alignment with EU values and the common foreign and security policy (CFSP).
“EU leaders are expected to clearly express their unambiguous support for integrating the Western Balkans in the EU and to make use of the momentum created by geopolitical events to take new steps in cooperation on the European continent,” the European Council says on its web site.
“Among the objectives of the meeting is to explore innovative ways to advance the accession talks, incentivise reform and make progress in the gradual integration between the EU and the region, building on the EU’s revised enlargement methodology.”
Croatia keeps warning about the unjust neglect of Western Balkan countries’ EU accession, with Slovenia and Austria especially pointing it out.
Slovenian foreign minister Tanja Fajon has recently said Slovenia will request that Bosnia and Herzegovina be awarded candidate status at the next EU summit after the Commission last week proposed that Ukraine and Moldova be given EU candidate status.