09/21/2010 OHR / EUSR

EU Can Help BiH Citizens Eliminate Obstacles to Integration

Bosnia and Herzegovina has the resilience to return to the EU integration path, High Representative and EU Special Representative Valentin Inzko has told members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, and he has stressed that visa liberalisation will help to galvanise pro-Europe forces in the country.

“The role of the European Parliament in championing the right of citizens from Bosnia and Herzegovina to travel freely throughout Europe is genuinely appreciated by the people of this country,” the HR/EUSR said during a meeting today with the President of the Parliament, Jerzy Buzek.

He said visa liberalization will generate momentum in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a return to the European path, and he expressed his conviction that Europe can now respond positively to the pragmatic and effective steps in regard to visa liberalization that have been taken by the relevant BiH authorities.

He expressed disappointment that the BiH political parties have been unable before the general election to reach consensus on implementing the European Court for Human Rights ruling that calls for an end to the violation of basic civic rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite strong encouragement from the European Parliament to resolve this issue.

The HR/EUSR said the European Union’s presence in the country must be reconfigured so that it can more effectively help citizens overcome obstacles that are being placed in the way of integration, and in this way ensure that the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina secure the benefits of EU membership sooner rather than later.