Decision to open entry talks is EU's big geopolitical message to BiH

The decision to open negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina is "a big geopolitical message from the EU to all its nations, leaders and institutions," Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in Brussels today.

Speaking after the European Council adopted a decision on opening accession negotiations with BiH, he said BiH must seize this opportunity," not let it get away and let this wave we started today enhance the lives of all our friends in Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Today's decision is key for the survival and functioning of the state, Plenković said.

Croatia played a key role for this decision to be adopted and it was not an easy process at all, he added.

He recalled that in February 2016, when he was an MEP, he helped the then-chair of the BiH Presidency, Dragan Čović, to submit a membership application, invested big efforts for BiH to be granted candidate status in December 2022, and that the Croatian government strongly supported the efforts of BiH Prime Minister Borjana Krišto in meeting the criteria.

This is a big day for Bosnia and Herzegovina

As an example of how difficult it was to reach a consensus within the EU, Plenković recalled last night's debate in the Dutch parliament, where Prime Minister Mark Rutte no longer has a majority and 72 out of the 150 MPs were against opening the negotiations with BiH.

"But with good arguments, and we communicated constantly, we made it," Plenković said.

He said he was especially glad that all decisions were made at a time when the political representatives of BiH Croats held the most prominent positions in the country and when the Croatian government strongly supported and enabled a consensus within the EU.

"This is a big day for Bosnia and Herzegovina, all three constituent peoples and a special message of Croatia's support. It's one of the more beautiful news we could have to round off our international activities at the end of our second term," Plenković said.

Text: Hina