High Representative Christian Schmidt met today in Sarajevo with Austrian Minister for European and International Affairs, Michael Linhart, and exchanged views on the current political developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans, with particular focus on challenges to the functionality, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The High Representative outlined the international community’s commitment to assist Bosnia and Herzegovina in fulfilling its EU integration goals, and readiness to help alleviate pressing economic issues, but underscored this also presupposes domestic stakeholders doing their part. “Strengthening of state institutions, functionality, and rule of law are requirements to achieve BiH’s graduation from international supervision and movement down the EU path. Thus, efforts to undermine the state’s effectiveness would mean working directly against the interest of citizens,” said the High Representative.
The High Representative thanked Minister Linhart for Austria’s unwavering support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU aspirations, as well as for Austria’s invaluable role in the international community’s efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the significant contributions to EUFOR.
Minister Linhart underscored that: “The HR and the OHR can count on Austria’s continued, steadfast support. The HR’s mandate remains crucial for the stability and consolidation of the country and its path towards EU accession.”