Wien, 4. October 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: „Bosnia-Herzegovina needs a new momentum in the reform process“

Vienna, 4 October 2010 - „Yesterday’s elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina have shown that the citizens are taking their democratic right seriously and wish to actively participate in shaping their country’s future. It is now up to the responsible politicians to seek adequate forms of cooperation as soon as possible, in order to effect the reforms required for the EU integration process with the necessary determination“ said Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger in a first reaction to the presidential and parliamentary elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Participation in the elections on October 3rd, in which citizens chose their political representatives at the level of the overall state, the two entities, and the 10 cantons, reached almost 55 percent, one of the highest in years.

„I expect the new decision makers to leave the nationalist polemics of the election campaign behind. Bosnia must stop loosing time and start looking forward. The newly elected representatives must become aware of their responsibility and devote all their power and energy to tackling the challenges of the reform process. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s future lies in the European Union", Spindelegger continued.

The Foreign Minister pointed out the hopes associated with the visa exemption by the European Union. „Chances are good that the visa-free entry into the EU, long awaited by all the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, will soon become a reality. This proves that reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina pay dividends.“

Spindelegger stressed that Austria has constantly and prominently supported the reform efforts in the country. At the moment not only the High Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina, but also the commander of the EU troops is Austrian. „Yet the current status cannot be satisfactory for anyone, least of all for the people in Bosnia-Herzegovina themselves. The country needs a new momentum in the reform process to finally obtain its full sovereignty as a united state. Otherwise, the leap from Dayton to Brussels will never succeed.”

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