Saturday, April 19, 2008


BRUSSELS, Belgium (April 19,2008) – The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj has started consultations with the European Commission’s high officials, for the purpose of pressuring Slovenian Presidency over the EU to fulfil the previous promises that the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) will be signed after adoption of packages on police reform.

After the first short meeting with European commissioner for Expansion Olli Rehn, positions of the two sides have not changed – Bosnia insists on fulfilment of the previous EU promises that SAA will be signed by the end of April if the reform laws, as the main condition, are adopted during this month. On the other hand, the EU still negates the possibility of a fast singing of SAA with Bosnia and does not want to make any precisions about the date of signing of the Agreement.

During his two-day visit to the EU, on Thursday and Friday Minister Alkalaj met with most of the chief operatives of the European Commission in charge of Bosnia and the Balkan region – Head of the Direction for Expansion Michael Leigh, Political Director for the West Balkan Michael Giffoni and others.

This meeting was aimed to clarify the alleged technical obstacles that have arisen on the way to Bosnia’s signing of SAA, after adoption of the police reform laws.

Although Bosnia has several times officially confirmed that texts of the SAA and of the Temporary Trade Agreement have been translated by experts to 22 EU official languages and have also been submitted in early April to the European Commission’s expert services and member countries, the EU still claims that Bosnia’s several months-long hesitation has jeopardized the regular technical procedure for signing of the Agreement.

For the reasons stated, the unofficial sources have confirmed that the main obstacles are legal experts, in charge of legal interpretations of the international agreements.

If that proves to be right, Alkalaj will, the sources close to his cabinet confirmed, insist at the European Commission and Javier Solana, that the agreement is signed in one of the “languages of the EU acceptable to all”. Legal and linguistic issues will further be discussed until the agreement is ratified.

Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikоlа Spiric had a phone conversation on Thursday with Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa on Bosnia’s European perspectives. Spiric told Jansa via phone about ongoing reforms in Bosnia aimed to obtain the country’s progress in the European integration processes.

In that context, he emphasized that the Bosnian Parliament's House of Peoples adopted the police reform laws which means that the last condition for Bosnia’s signing of SAAwith the EU has been fulfilled.

Spiric asked for the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s support for signing the SAA between Bosnia and the EU, for Slovenia is currently presiding the EU.

Jansa congratulated for the progress Bosnia has made in the European integrations processes. He promised to do all in his power to make sure the SAA between Bosnia and the EU is signed as soon as possible.

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