EU Special Representative Lars-Gunnar Wigemark and EUFOR Commander Anton Waldner hosted a New Year's reception in Sarajevo on Monday evening. Wigemark said during his welcome speech that the door for BiH, as a future member state of the EU is open and that the way to get to that door has been clearly defined.
Wigemark reiterated that it is all in hands of BiH politicians and that it is necessary for all actors to cooperate in order to "score a goal". Speaking about the year 2017, he noted that too much energy was wasted on empty talks. However, he added, certain results were achieved too, owing to adoption of the set of laws on excise duties and the Rural Development Strategy. As for this year, Wigemark emphasized, it will be extremely important for BiH.
EUSR announced publishing of the European Commission's Strategy for the Western Balkans' Integration, which will clearly define what are these countries expected to do on the road of European integration. He also announced the EU-Western Balkans Summit taking place in Sofia this May, expressing hope that this event will result in important decisions for the Western Balkans.
He further noted he was a moderate optimist when it comes to this year's perspectives, and that it is possible to make progress although the year 2018 is the year of elections. He concluded that there is no dispute when it comes to the road to the EU and that it is a common goal everybody in BiH aspires to.
EUFOR Commander Waldner also addressed the event, commending the work of BiH Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies, and emphasizing that he truly appreciated their professionalism and dedicated approach to work. He also pointed out excellent cooperation of the EUFOR with BiH AF and law enforcement agencies, which was confirmed by joint exercise 'Quick Response 2017'.