1. The Council reiterates its unequivocal commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU perspective as a single, united and sovereign country. Following the elections on 7 October, and recalling the Conclusions of June 2018, the Council expects all leaders to engage constructively on government formation at all levels, in the interests of all citizens. The Council recalls that it expects the BiH authorities to prioritise taking forward the reforms needed to advance on in its EU path, ensuring the full and effective implementation of the Reform Agenda.
2. In this context, the Council welcomes the continued presence of Operation Althea, which in the follow up of the Strategic Review 2017 has refocused on its core mandate, while retaining the elements of capacity building and training deemed to be still necessary and phasing out the other elements no longer relevant. In this context, as part of the overall EU strategy for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Council confirms the EU’s readiness to continue at this stage the executive military mandate of Operation Althea to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities to maintain the safe and secure environment, under a renewed UN mandate.
3. The Council looks forward to the presentation of the next Strategic Review in 2019 as a basis for discussion with Member States on EUFOR’s tasks and options for the future of the Operation, also bearing in mind the need to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s progress in its EU integration process and taking into account the security situation on the ground.
4. The Council recognises the importance of continued coordination of EUFOR Althea with other international actors on the ground.
5. The EU continues at the same time to urge the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the support of the international community, to accelerate their efforts to address the disposal of excess ammunition, weapons and explosive devices, as well as demining and other outstanding issues.