Tuesday, December 4, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 4,2007) – The European Union Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo that the European Union will initial a pre-membership agreement with Bosnia today,after Bosnia's political leaders agreed to reform the police forces."I have decided to initial the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with Bosnia tomorrow," Rehn told a news conference yesterday after meeting with Bosnia's leaders.

Earlier yesterday, the Bosnian Government adopted an action plan on police reforms, aiming at the integration of the country's two ethnically divided police forces - a key condition set by Brussels to sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), the first step to the EU membership.

"I am very pleased that I did not come in vain since leaders of the country have convinced me of their commitment to finish the job concerning police reform," Rehn said.

The EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn's decision came after the Bosnian Parliament on Friday adopted new voting rules aimed at streamlining its work, opening the way to defuse the worst political crisis in the country since the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

"I want to congratulate leaders of the people of Bosnia for this achievement and I trust they will take this as an encouragement to further normalisation of the political situation and reform agenda of the country," Rehn added.

"All those who have speculated on the troubled future of Bosnia have been proven wrong and will be proven wrong. The country has a bright future on its road toward EU," Rehn said.

The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak said Rehn's decision puts Bosnia back on the road to European integration.

“Olli Rehn’s decision puts Bosnia back on the road to European integration after months of political uncertainty”, Lajcak said following the European Enlargement Commissioner’s decision to initial Bosnia’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

“With this decision the European Union has recognized the new political dynamic in Bosnia”, Lajčák said yesterday.

“It shows that Bosnia's politicians have understood that the road to EU integration represents the best possible development strategy for the country,”he said.

“From tomorrow Bosnia will have a formal agreement with the European Union, how fast the country now moves then depends on how quickly the country can meet the institutional and legislative requirements set out in the Mostar Declaration and Action Plan on Police Reform agreements”, Lajčák concluded.

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