Written by 3:52 pm European Union

“France fully supports Bosnia and Herzegovina’s European (…)

Thank you Mr. President,

I would like to welcome the participation of the President of the Collegial Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina in this meeting.

Mr. President,

France welcomes the conduct of the general elections on October 2. And we now call on all newly elected Bosnian political representatives to cooperate in a constructive spirit in order to ensure the prompt and unimpeded formation of the new legislative and executive authorities at all levels of government. It would be unacceptable to repeat the political deadlock of the previous legislature, including the failure to form a new government at the Federation level. The authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina must assume their responsibilities and find the path of dialogue and compromise in order to allow the proper functioning of the institutions of their country and to respond to the concrete needs of their citizens who brought them to power.

Mr. President,

The authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina must also firmly commit themselves to the path of reforms that will contribute to making European rapprochement a reality. It is regrettable that only limited progress has been made over the past year. France welcomes the political agreement reached on June 12 in Brussels by the political representatives of Bosnia-Herzegovina, under the aegis of European Council President Charles Michel. The commitments that were made, particularly concerning the achievement of the fourteen essential priorities in favor of democracy and the rule of law, within six months of the installation of the new executives, must now be implemented.

France fully supports Bosnia and Herzegovina’s European perspective, along with the other Western Balkan countries. The European Commission’s recent recommendation to grant Bosnia and Herzegovina candidate status to the European Union should encourage the country’s leaders to accelerate the reforms necessary for Bosnia and Herzegovina to make decisive progress towards EU membership. And we stand ready to discuss with our European partners the issue of recognition of candidate country status.

Mr. President,

The international presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains absolutely necessary for the stability of the country, for the stability of the region, in accordance with the conditions set out in the Dayton/Paris agreements.

On the military side, the European Union has played the main role in stabilizing peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2004 with the EUFOR ALTHEA operation. It does so on behalf of the international community, in accordance with the Dayton/Paris agreement and the decision of the Security Council. We therefore welcome the adoption of Resolution 2658, which renews its mandate.

As for the civilian component, France supports the mandate of the High Representative. And we recall that the office of the High Representative is not intended to last longer than is necessary, namely, the realization of the 5+2 agenda.

Mr. President,

At a time when Russia’s war against Ukraine is shaking Europe, France is sparing no effort to work for the stability of the Balkans.

We remain very concerned by the fact that tensions and community divisions continue to be exacerbated in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is intolerable that some leaders are now calling for secession or questioning the principle of a multiple, open and inclusive society. France reaffirms its firm commitment to the unity and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We also reaffirm the importance of justice for all victims, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition for all crimes committed during these conflicts. The transitional justice process, as the only way to achieve the ultimate goal of reconciliation, remains the only solid basis for the future of the country. And we condemn in the strongest terms the glorification of convicted war criminals or the denial of genocide. This is incompatible with the values of the European Union.

In conclusion, Mr. President, I would like to remind you that it is the political will of Bosnian politicians that will enable Bosnia and Herzegovina to progress on the path to membership in the European Union.

Thank you very much.

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