International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Slovenia FM to N1-I have a ‘positive feeling’ regarding Bosnia initiative

June 20, 2022

There will be no lowering of criteria in getting the EU candidate status but it is important to strengthen the credibility of enlargement to the Western Balkans, Slovenian Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon told N1, speaking about Slovenia's initiative for granting Bosnia and Herzegovina the candidate status alongside Ukraine and Moldova. She said she had a positive feeling regarding the country's candidate status.

The proposal says that the aim of granting BiH the EU candidate status is sending an “immediate positive signal to BiH and the entire Western Balkans region.”

“Such signal to BiH, opening accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, as well as visa liberalisation for Kosovo would re-confirm the EU’s commitment to the Western Balkans,” said the proposal that will be officially presented on Monday at the meeting of EU foreign ministers.

Speaking to N1, Fajon said she has a positive feeling about the initiative after talking with a few ministers.

“First, Slovenia supports the European perspective of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, and it is very important considering the war that we have nearby. Of course, in terms of the enlargement, it is important that we don't lose the credibility and that's why Slovenia wrote a proposal for Bosnia and Herzegovina getting the candidate status as Ukraine, but of course prior to the process opening it is necessary to do everything that is necessary. We would like to send a strong support and political signal that we won't forget the Western Balkan countries,” Fajon stressed.

She also said it was necessary to start the accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, and to ensure the visa liberalisation for Kosovo.

Asked if politicians, such as Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency, could halt this process, Fajon replied that the leaders will discuss all the potential issues.

“I would like this process to start and to give a signal that we didn't forget the Western Balkans. That's the initiative of our President Borut Pahor,” she added.

Slovenia's initiative comes after Pahor addressed European Council President Charles Michel last week saying that granting BiH the candidate status would encourage pro-European forces in the country.

On Friday, Prime Minister Robert Golob announced he would propose that Bosnia and Herzegovina be granted candidate status for EU membership at the EU summit this week.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/slovenia-fm-to-n1-i-have-a-positive-feeling-regarding-bosnia-initiative/

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