Remarks by Head of the EU Delegation and EUSR in BiH Johann Sattler at an event to mark the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords

Check against delivery!

“Peace gets a chance”. “The end of the war.”

That is what the front pages from December ‘95 read after the signing of the agreement that stopped the terrible suffering in this country and brought peace.

Today, as we celebrate twenty-five years of peace, it is high time to talk about a better present and future.

As Helmut Kohl said at the signing of the Dayton Accords in Paris, “Peace must be more than the absence of war.”

More than, as they say here, “As long as there’s no shooting”!

This is not and should not be enough.

Citizens deserve and seek life without fear, poverty and constant political crises.

Young people do not want to be stuck in the past. They want a functional state. An EU member.

Adla, Vedran, Vladimir and Elvir told me that in Mostar yesterday. This was confirmed by our research: young people do not fear a new conflict! Young people also think that EU membership ensures long-term peace.

European integration can help this country resolve the anomalies of the Dayton system. The authorities need to take more decisive steps towards this goal – as soon as possible.

We are convinced that a significant step forward can and should be made next year in the transition from the post-conflict phase to the EU accession phase, from Dayton to Brussels!

Europe is already here. Now it is time for the EU.

Long live Bosnia and Herzegovina!