Pusic: Moment is right for new European approach to BiH

Vesna Pusic, Croatia’s minister of foreign and European affairs, said after today’s one-day visit to Sarajevo and meeting with the highest government officials that BiH should be helped in fulfilling criteria for accession to the European Union.

In an interview for Dnevnik 2 on HRT, she said that officials in Sarajevo are most interested in what is understood by the EU’s so-called new approach to BiH, which Croatia is advocating.

“It is important that all doubt be removed that this is about a lowering of criteria when it comes to BiH’s negotiations with the EU. This isn’t about a lowering of criteria, but about cooperation with BiH in fulfilling these criteria,” said Pusic.

To the HTV reporter’s question of what concrete is meant by the EU’s new approach, the chief Croatian diplomat said:

“Croatia primarily pushes European institutions to, in their relations with BiH, be proactive. If one of the criteria is the method of implementation of the ECHR’s decision in the Sejdic-Finci case, then let it be a substantive part of the negotiating process instead of being a precondition for the start of the negotiating process. That is the basic idea.”

Pusic said it would be better for the European Commission and member states to enter “into partnership with BiH,” to help it to fulfill conditions on the European path, rather than constantly reiterate that BiH must implement reforms itself, because it is already clear to everyone that BiH cannot do this alone.

“I think that this is possible in this moment. I think that the situation in Ukraine shows how important it is to use the right moment. The moment for BiH is absolutely now, so one of the small problems, from the European point of view, doesn’t grow into a big one,” said Pusic.(Oslobodjenje.ba)