This year marks 20 years since the breakout of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is a very painful anniversary for all the citizens of this country, regardless of their national background.
However, we must not forget that it has also 17 years since the Dayton Peace Accords were signed. From that day, 21st of November 1995, Bosnia and Herzegovina has set itself on the road to democracy and Euro-Atlantic integration.
The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina have made significant progress. They have made this country a safe place to live in. This has not been an easy journey, and there is more to be done on the road ahead. There are many more reforms to be passed and implemented. But at the finish line is the main reward – full membership in the European Union.
Over the years, Bosnia and Herzegovina took over more responsibilities as a state; responsibilities that 17 years ago laid with the international community. Today, the international community is the partner of your country, committed to help BiH on its European and Euro-Atlantic path.
I have to stress again – the journey on this path will not be an easy one. But it is a journey that Bosnia and Herzegovina has to finish!
BiH needs to take this road on its own choice. Fortunately, it is not an uncharted road – all other EU member countries had to take this path too and are more than willing to give BiH a helping hand.
EUFOR too is committed to see a stable and secure environment maintain in BiH. Although its role will change in the upcoming period, EUFOR will not leave. It remains determined to provide comprehensive assistance to BiH. EUFOR will concentrate more on working with the Armed Forces of BiH through capacity building and training.
However, all the hard work sits with Bosnia and Herzegovina. But it can be easier if we all work together for towards a safe and prosperous BiH!
Unite in work for a united cause – BiH in the EU.
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