Bosnia and Hercegovina applies for EU membership, a move supported by Croatia.
Croatia welcomes the submission of the request of Bosnia and Herzegovina for EU membership, since the membership perspective is a powerful factor for transformation of a society, said Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miro Kovač, reports Vecernji List on February 15, 2016.
“Croatia welcomes the submission of the candidature of Bosnia and Herzegovina for EU membership. This is a very important step on the way to accession to the EU. Croatia, as a neighbouring country and a signatory of the Dayton Agreement, has a special responsibility. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in which Croats live with their friends Bosniaks and Serbs as a constitutional, equal people and the submission of candidature will be the first step in the strengthening of the state as such. The prospect of EU membership is an incentive for the transformation of society based on common European values”, said Minister Kovač.
Before the start of a meeting of EU foreign ministers, President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dragan Čović presented the application for membership to the representative of the EU presiding country, the Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders.
Minister Kovač pointed out that the path to the EU membership will be a long and difficult, but it is important that it has started. “In Croatia, BiH will have a strong partner in the implementation of all those reforms which are necessary in order for it to one day achieve the goal of joining the EU. We will be strict, but fair during the evaluation of reforms in BiH”, said Kovač. He pointed out that the same criteria will apply to BiH as to all other candidates, which includes the adaptation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement in order to take into account the fact that Croatia has already become a member of the EU. Kovač added that Croatia supports the equality of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “We support the equality of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we will support any solution that would make their equality a reality”, said Kovač.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović sent a congratulatory message to the leadership and the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and pointed out that Croatia will continue to support the process of European integration. “The Republic of Croatia, as your sincere friend and supporter within the European Union, is committed to fostering the process of European integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina and will be available to share our experiences”, said the President. “The European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Southeast Europe has a key role in ongoing stabilization and progress of our continent and in the final consolidation of Europe”, said the President.