President supports Bosnia on path to EU
President Nataša Pirc Musar made a two-day official visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina on 8-9 February to reiterate Slovenia's continued support for the country on its path to EU membership.
Meeting the country's collective presidency, the president described integration into the European family as being crucial for the stability and development not only of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but of the whole region.
She called on the EU to be honest about the integration process, and on the countries in the region to implement the necessary reforms within the set deadlines.
"Slovenia is strongly committed to Bosnia-Herzegovina reaching a point on its path to the EU where it can start accession talks," Pirc Musar said.
As the European Commission releases its next report on the country's progress in March, she believes it should make it clear to EU member states that Bosnia-Herzegovina is responding adequately to Brussels' recommendations.
"Slovenia would not have invested all this effort if we were not convinced that Bosnia-Herzegovina can do it," Pirc Musar said.
Željko Komšić, the current chairman of the presidency, said the country expected EU leaders to take a decision on the start of accession talks in March. Delaying the talks would send a very bad message, he said.
Efforts to start EU accession talks also topped the agenda as Pirc Musar met the chair of the council of ministers, and the presidents of both chambers of parliament.
Other topics included economic cooperation between the two countries, environmental protection, the future of young people and the problem of brain drain.
Pirc Musar confirmed good and friendly bilateral relations, noting that Bosnia is an important economic partner of Slovenia and the second-largest recipient of Slovenia's development aid.
The president also met the Slovenian troops serving in the country and the commanders of Eurofor's mission and of NATO forces.
She also attended a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the Sarajevo Winter Olympics and one where an Olympic giant slalom course at the Bjelašnica ski resort was named after Slovenian skier Jure Franko, who won silver at the Games there in 1984.