Commissioner Füle´s address at the Western Balkan Forum

The annual meeting of the Western Balkans Forum took place in Luxembourg on 20 June, focusing on the European perspective of the region. The Foreign Ministers of the EU and the Western Balkans discussed progress and challenges with a focus on regional cooperation and elections. The meeting, which followed today’s Foreign Affairs Council, was chaired by HR/VP Ashton and was attended by the EU and regional Foreign Ministers, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Füle, representatives of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Council of Europe and UN SRSG Lamberto Zannier.

Speaking of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in his address, Commissioner Füle stated: The good news for Bosnia and Herzegovina is that the March Foreign Affairs Council gave us an EU strategy. The successful launch of the Structured Dialogue on Justice on 6 June is also to be welcomed. All parties engaged in the discussion and confirmed they were ready to use this dialogue as a platform for addressing justice-related issues. However, it is now urgent to establish a State-level government and to tackle reforms. The EU agenda should lie at the centre of the Government’s programme. The Constitution needs to be brought into compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights, and state-level state aid law adopted. Both are necessary for a credible membership application. The adoption of State-level census law will be important for BiH’s integration steps at a later stage.

Read the full speech.