03.10.2002 EU

Message To The People Of Bosnia And Herzegovina From EU High Representative Javier Solana On The Eve Of The 5 October 2002 Elections

You and your country face a crucial choice on 5 October.

One alternative for Bosnia and Herzegovina is Europe. Some progress in this direction has already been made.  There is hard work ahead. But it is building work. It is about creating a better life for all BiH citizens. And the EU will assist, as shown not least by our recent decision to launch a European Union Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina to carry on the work of the United Nations in this field. This is not, in the end, about laws and agreements and negotiations. It’s about delivering real benefits to ordinary people, it’s about making BiH work.

If Europe is one alternative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other is stagnation. I do not need to spell out what that alternative will mean in detail: you have experienced most of it during the years that followed immediately after the war.

The choice between these two alternatives lies with voters on 5 October and I urge you to choose Europe. Make these the first truly European BiH elections. There is no role now for politicians who would block necessary legislation for the sake of short-term political gain.

This is a time for serious politics. Look at the record of the politicians seeking your vote. How many reforms have they introduced? How likely are they to build a prosperous country with a single market and a culture of inclusiveness and reconciliation?

Europe stands ready to work with such a country.  Europe stands ready to welcome such a country as one of its own.