The Council of the European Union adopted a decision concluding the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Agreement will enter into force on 1 June 2015.
The Stabilisation and Association Agreement constitutes the framework of relations between the European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The agreement gradually establishes a free trade area between the EU and the country. It also identifies common political and economic objectives and encourages regional co-operation. In the context of accession to the European Union, the agreement serves as the basis for implementation of the accession process.
The decision will allow BiH to move forward in its relations with the EU and it should provide a positive stimulus to continue socio-economic, judicial, and other necessary reforms for the EU integration of the country. The overall aim is to allow BiH to prepare itself for future EU membership.
The EU has called on BiH to remain engaged and maintain the current positive momentum by developing, in consultation with the EU, an initial agenda for reforms with a focus on issues of direct concern to citizens. This initial agenda should include relevant reforms in the areas of economy, rule of law and good governance, and should address functionality issues, including an effective coordination mechanism on EU matters.
The EU stresses the importance of engagement with civil society throughout this process. Meaningful progress in implementation of this reform agenda is necessary for a membership application to be considered by the EU.
Enis Zejnić, Relationship Manager Bosnia and Herzegovina