Golob hopes for consensus on Bosnia candidate status

Brussels – Prime Minister Robert Golob expressed the hope that EU leaders will reach a consensus on giving Bosnia-Herzegovina candidate country status at Thursday’s summit as he dismissed reports by some media that Slovenia is willing to block Ukraine’s bid to achieve that.

“There has been no talk about a blockade, nor has there been any need to,” he said on arrival at the summit on Thursday about reports by some foreign media that Slovenia and Austria would block the adoption of summit conclusions unless Bosnia-Herzegovina gets candidate status.

Ukraine is “a separate story” and “under no condition will Slovenia block granting this country candidate status.” “But that does not mean we will not insist, until the morning if need be, on Bosnia-Herzegovina,” he said.

Golob sees several possible ways of granting Bosnia-Herzegovina candidate country status. Just as with Ukraine, it is important to give the people of Bosnia a signal that there is hope.

“The people of Bosnia-Herzegovina are not responsible for the situation they are in. They too had had a war twenty years ago and now hope is gradually wearing thin,” he said.

Slovenia has spent the last several days in a diplomatic offensive to try and convince member states of the news to give Bosnia-Herzegovina candidate status.

Unofficial information suggests that only Austria and Hungary are so far explicitly on board, whereas several other countries are said to be supportive of the motion.

According to some sources, Slovenia will try at minimum to insert a timeline for candidate country status in the summit conclusions. Reportedly, there is a possibility that Bosnia receive candidate status in December.

Golob also commented on the meeting between EU leaders and heads of Western Balkan countries, which took place before the summit. He said it was understandable that they were disappointed because bilateral issues from the past had outweighed the European idea.

“And when Western Balkan countries get to experience this first hand, there is justified disappointment and frustration.

“This is definitely not the right message to give the people who live there. Regardless of politics, I believe we need to be aware that people there see the EU as their only future and we are showing a strange face at the moment.”