Varheji: BiH should show readiness for reforms, not to miss the opportunity to obtain candidate status

Oliver Varhei
Oliver Warhay / EPA-EFE / JULIEN WARNAND

European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Oliver Varhei today called on the current government in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the one that will be formed, not to miss the opportunity to soon receive candidate status for EU membership and to show readiness for reforms.

Varheji called on the outgoing BiH Council of Ministers, as well as the members of the new BiH Presidency, to send clear signals that they are ready and able to implement the reforms expected of them.

The European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy arrived on an official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina and met with the highest representatives of the country in Sarajevo, and after the meeting with the members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said that he arrived at a key geopolitical moment.

"We need to strengthen the partnership, and for that we need reliable partners", said Varheji, recalling the decision of the European Commission that the Council of the EU granted BiH the status of candidate for membership.

He warned that the final decision on this matter is up to all member states of the Union, but he promised that it will be made in a transparent manner, but also with "great expectations" from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Varheji explained that now "tangible results" are needed, which will be presented to the EU Council, when in December it will review the European Commission's recommendation for granting candidate status to BiH based on the request submitted in 2016.

The President of the Presidency of BiH, Zeljka Cvijanovic, said Varheyi was briefed on the government formation process and the expectation that it would be completed in the coming weeks, so that reforms could begin in the new year.

"We have an understanding of what is happening in the EU, but we also want the EU to understand our specifics and problems," Cvijanovic said, adding that BiH sincerely wants better relations with the Union.

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