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SARAJEVO, January 24 /SRNA/ - The Head of the EU Delegation to BiH, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, has said that the fact that the year 2018 is an election year cannot be an excuse for halting and postponing reforms, and that it is necessary to make use in the best possible way of Bulgaria’s presidency of the EU Council, which is also focused on BiH and the Western Balkans.


“The European Commission will present a new strategy for the countries of the Western Balkans in February. We have summits in London and Sofia this year and they will focus on cooperation with the countries of the region. BiH cannot allow any politician to block the European road for a short-term gain. This must be clear to everyone in BiH,” Wigemark said after a meeting between EU ambassadors and BiH Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak.

Wigemark has said that the following months are an opportunity which BiH should make use of, which is why talks will be held with everyone in BiH.

Regarding foreign influences on BiH, Wigemark has said that he did not see any country outside the EU which is opposed or which publicly said that it is against the European integration process of any of the six countries of the Western Balkans.

“I speak exclusively on behalf of the EU, but did anyone really see any leader of any state outside the EU which is opposed to the integration process of the western Balkan countries? There are even those who support the process since they think that it will improve the economy and investment climate and that the market will be more attractive,” Wigemark has said.

The Head of the EU Delegation is not satisfied with results of public administration reform and stresses that EU experts will visit BiH at the end of the month.

Addressing reporters, the Ambassador of Bulgaria to BiH, Avgustina Cvetkova, has said that the motto of her country’s presidency of the EU Council is, “We are stronger together.”

“The Western Balkans is in the focus of our presidency. It is our goal to move it towards the European integration. It is important to again underline European prospects of the Western Balkans and we will reiterate this at a summit in Sofia,” Cvetkova has said, noting that the stability of the region is particularly important to Bulgaria.

BiH Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak has said that it was said at the meeting with EU ambassadors that institutions of BiH, Republika Srpska and the FBiH will have much to do this year.

“The only way for us to progress is if everyone does their part of the job. Almost two thirds of the Reform Agenda is on the Entities; no one must be excluded and no one has the right to hinder the process for daily political reasons,” Crnadak has said.

He has said that answering the questions from the Questionnaire is not enough, but also said that results of every country aspiring for EU membership should be valued separately.

“This was an open and sincere meeting about the situation in the EU and BiH. We are grateful to Bulgaria for its support on the path to the EU,” Crnadak has said, stressing that this year should not be missed and that “the ball is in the yard of BiH.” /end/sg