The Slovenia Times

Slovenia, France to cooperate on Bosnia proposal


Paris - PM Robert Golob and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed today to cooperate in preparing a proposal for granting Bosnia-Herzegovina EU candidate status. Solutions regarding granting the status must take into account the broader context, which is that destabilisation of the Western Balkan must be prevented at all cost, Golob said.

"The stability of the Western Balkans is crucial", Macron said before meeting with Golob. He added that he was ready to discuss this initiative, but that the aim should be to ensure maximum chances for peace and stability in the region.

"We cannot accept that external forces are increasingly taking advantage of the situation and the inter-communal tensions to destabilise not only Bosnia-Herzegovina but the entire region," the French president said.

Golob too stressed that it was important that there was mutual understanding between France and Slovenia that "the Western Balkans is a region whose destabilisation the EU must prevent at all cost".

"It is this broader strategic context that should guide our next steps. Therefore, the solutions for granting status to Bosnia-Herzegovina must primarily take this broader context into account and not the bureaucratic aspects or conditions," the prime minister said.

According to Golob, he and Macron agreed that Slovenia would prepare an initiative on this, which it would try to coordinate with other countries, including France. This joint initiative would be discussed at the EU summit in October.

"We will try to pursue the objective of granting the status in December, based on what the situation will be after the elections in Bosnia and what conditions can be met after the election results are in," he said.

Slovenia believes that conditions cannot be imposed before the elections, scheduled for early October. It was confirmed also at today's meeting in Paris that the EU should wait until after the election to set the conditions.

In this context, Golob and Macron also discussed the French president's initiative for a European political community in which the countries of the neighbourhood would participate alongside EU member states. Golob supports this idea and believes it would not be an alternative to enlargement.

"This European political community is a necessity because the enlargement process is a bureaucratic process, with the same rules for all future members. But we all know that countries are different in different regions", the prime minister said. This European political community could address the regions individually, he added.

It would also be useful for countries that are in the process of joining the EU, as it could help them take their first concrete steps much more quickly. They could engage with the EU already during the accession process, Golob said.


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