Zovko: “Candidate status for BiH is not the end of the ride, but should stimulate the reform process”


Strasbourg, 17 January 2023

The Members of the European Parliament are meeting in Strasbourg for the first plenary session of 2023. One of the items on the agenda is a debate and voting session on the annual report on common foreign and security policy (cfsp) prepared by rapporteur MEP David McAllister and the report on common security and defence (csdp) coordinated by MEP Vandenkendelaere. In these reports, members take note of the EU’s geopolitical position and propose measures how to better ensure its security.

During the plenary debate, Željana Zovko, Vice Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee praised the work of the rapporteurs and said that they managed to cover a very challenging year from a foreign and security perspective in their reports, referring to the new war that has emerged in the EU’s neighbourhood. She underlined that Europe needs stronger EU-NATO cooperation, an updated European Peace Facility and a boost for its relations with international partners.

Zovko also referred to the increased EU engagement in the enlargement agenda and stated that she warmly welcomes the Council’s decision to grant candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina. She continued by stating that this candidate status is not the end of the ride. “It should stimulate the domestic leaders to speed up the reform process. Because even after the welcome changes of the electoral law last October, Croats still don’t have their elected representative in the Presidency.” Zovko said and added that the report calls for the implementation of electoral reforms in accordance with the decisions of the domestic and international courts in order to ensure the principles of equality and non-discrimination for all citizens and constituent peoples as enshrined in the Constitution.

In other Amendments to the report, Zovko focused on the transatlantic partnership, the situation in the South Caucasus and the European Southern Neighbourhood.

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