Wednesday, December 26, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 26,2007) – The Head of the Bosnian Direction for European Integrations Osman Topcagic said in the Bosnian capital sarajevo that not much progress was achieved in 2007 in the sector of European association processes.

”We should have initialled and signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union (EU) earlier. However, certain time was needed for achievement of agreements related to interior policy in the country”, Topcagic said.

He added that in 2007, most of the activities were focused on fulfilment of conditions for initialling and signing of SAA.

Bosnia negotiated about the agreement in 2006. Police reform agreement had been expected throughout the year. That agreement was achieved December 4,2007.

Topcagic stated that the EU offered Bosnia a new form of help – the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). Preparations for use of the IPA fund was a part of the activities of the Bosnian Direction for European Integrations.

He is of the opinion that there are good chances to sign the SAA in spring 2008, provided that additional agreements are achieved on police reform, Police Reform action Plan and ways of its implementation.

”That will be a completely new situation. We would for the first time have an agreement with the EU. Dooor to progress in the sector would be open”, Topcagic said.

He is of the opinion that after signing of the SAA, Bosnia needs to show the ability of implementing the obligations from the Agreement.

”Being granted the status of a candidate means that we first need to submit the candidacy demand. If marked positively, than a study will be conducted. The European Commission will prepare opinion on the candidacy status”, Topcagic said.

Apart from that, intensive activities need to be undertaken together with other countries of the region, as well as with members of the EU.

”Now another situation comes forth. With signing of SAA, all the countries of the region,Bosnia included, would have a contract relationship with the EU. I think it could initiate certain activities of the EU for the purpose of accelerating the processes”, Topcagic said.

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