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EU Statement – UN Security Council: Debate on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

11 May 2022, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union by H.E. Ambassador Silvio Gonzato, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the Security Council Debate on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Thank you chair for giving me the floor and let me take this opportunity to congratulate you on your Presidency of the Security Council.

I will speak on behalf of the EU.

At the outset, let me join others in thanking High Representative Schmidt for his briefing and reiterating our continued support to his work and the work of his office to implement the 5+2 agenda in BiH.

I would also like to welcome the Chair of the BiH Presidency, Šefik Džaferović, at the UN Security Council and I thank him for his statement.

The EU deeply regrets the prolonged political crisis in the country, which has held back further progress on reforms in 2021, and condemns the blockage of the State institutions. The EU urges all political leaders to refrain from and renounce provocative and divisive rhetoric and action, including questioning the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the country.

Rhetoric and initiatives aimed at rolling back reforms and withdrawing from State institutions are unacceptable and endanger the country’s alignment with the EU acquis and the political commitment to EU integration. All political leaders need to engage in dialogue to overcome the stalemate as a matter of priority.

The EU takes note of the very limited progress in reforms, and acknowledges the steps taken, including the holding of local elections in Mostar in December 2020, for the first time since 2008, and of the Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee, as well as the adoption by all levels of government of the Action Plan on Public Administration Reform and strategies on public financial management.

The EU urges the political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to put their joint efforts to fulfilling all 14 key priorities identified in the Commission’s Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina's application for EU membership as endorsed by the Council in 2019, and in line with the interest of all citizens to advance towards the European Union. The EU expresses its appreciation and reaffirms its support to the efforts of the EU Special Representative in this regard. Only by delivering on reforms will Bosnia and Herzegovina advance towards the EU.

Allow me to conclude by reiterating EU’s firm support to EUFOR Althea and to the mandate entrusted to it by the Security Council.

Thank you.