Catherine Ashton and Stefan Fuele sent a letter to BiH CoM Chair Bevanda

CATHERINE ASHTON

HIGH REPRESENTATIVE

VICE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

ŠTEFAN FÜLE

MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

ENLARGEMENT AND EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICY

H.E. Mr. Vjekoslav Bevanda
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Your Excellency,

We would like to congratulate you on your appointment as the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We also want to extend the congratulations to your entire government.

Our commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina is clear. Your country has a real perspective to join the EU. While the responsibility for progress lies with Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU will continue to assist the country on its European integration path, including through our strengthened presence on the ground.

We welcome your strong personal commitment to European integration, and in this regard we are encouraged by your presentation to the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina in January. The list of priorities communicated in your nomination speech is also shared by the European Union.

Once it enters into force, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement will further strengthen the relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EU. In this respect, we welcome the adoption of the Law on the State Aid System in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the Law on the Population and Housing Census. We now encourage you and the Council of Ministers, to bring the Constitution into compliance with the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), in line with the Sejdic-Finci ruling. A credible effort in this regard is now required to fulfil Bosnia and Herzegovina’s obligations under the Interim/Stabilisation and Association Agreement. Furthermore, to ensure progress on the EU agenda, it will be crucial for Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure effective coordination between the State and the Entities on EU matters. Bosnia and Herzegovina has an EU perspective as a single country only. A proper coordination mechanism is therefore needed for the country to speak with one voice with the EU.

The lack of a political agreement on the 2012 budget for the state level institutions, including its international financial obligations, and the continuous disagreement on the Global Fiscal Framework 2012-2014 cause serious concern. A sound economic and fiscal policy is an essential prerequisite for the country’s EU integration process. An agreement on the Global Fiscal Framework 2012-2014 is also among the basic preconditions for Bosnia and Herzegovina to start benefitting from the EU’s Macro-Financial Assistance of €100 million.

We look forward to a continued and fruitful dialogue with you and we would to take this opportunity to invite you to soon come to visit the EU institutions in Brussels for a further exchange of views.

Yours sincerely,

Catherine Ashton                                                                                           Štefan Füle