Konaković-Dvorak: The Czech Republic strongly supports BiH’s path to the European Union

SARAJEVO, January 25 (FENA) – Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Czech Republic have very good and open relations, without any open questions, said today the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Elmedin Konaković after meeting with the Minister of European Affairs of the Czech Republic, Martin Dvorak who is on a working visit to BiH.

Konaković assessed Dvorak’s visit as another important message of encouragement that BiH must use this momentum to get as close as possible to the European family.

”I expressed my appreciation for strong support, and the enlargement policy that the Czech Republic demonstrated within the European Union, especially towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. My colleague, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, is one of the seven signatories of the letter in which they gave direct support to the integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the EU,” reminded Konaković.

They stated that several more laws that BiH should adopt as a condition for opening negotiations with the EU are not something that seems so difficult to fulfill and that BiH’s political leaders must show maturity and responsibility in this regard so that BiH can ensure a European perspective.

”On the other hand, we also emphasized that we expect understanding and leadership from the EU to start negotiations with BiH, to show strong support first of all to the citizens of BiH, but also the pro-European political forces in BiH,” Konaković pointed out.

Minister Dvorak said that the Czech Republic strongly supports the EU enlargement and that one of the biggest achievements of the Czech EU presidency is the granting of candidate status to BiH.

”As a country that is a friend of the expansion of the Western Balkans and Bosnia and Herzegovina, we are one of the EU members that is actively lobbying for the opening of accession negotiations with your country. However, there are no shortcuts to membership in the EU, progress is made according to merit. I hope that the government and the public in Bosnia and Herzegovina are well aware of the conditions that are usually summarized in 14 key priorities. We cannot break that standard, reduce the conditions, although we are fully aware of the complexity of your Dayton arrangement and your constitution, but the criteria for EU membership remain constant, as well as the criteria for opening accession negotiations,” said Dvorak.

He stressed that the Czech Republic upholds the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and “they are worried about some currents and secessionist dreams that will not benefit the citizens of this country.”

Minister Dvorak added that the Czech Republic will continue to support BiH, not only declaratively but also very practically, that it will continue with financial assistance, and that it will focus on the transformations that are necessary on the European path.