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19 JAN 2009

Enhanced political dialogue based on compromise and realism, essential for Bosnia-Herzegovina to optimize EU funds, RCC Secretary General tells Prime Ministers Dodik and Brankovic

SARAJEVO – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) working platforms and new opportunities it opens up to Bosnia and Herzegovina in terms of much needed accelerated development were topics of separate talks the RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic held with Prime Ministers of the two BiH entities over the last few days.

Following a recent meeting with the Chair of BiH Council of Ministers Nikola Spiric, Secretary General Biscevic conveyed to the Prime Ministers of Republika Srpska and the BiH Federation, Milorad Dodik and Nedzad Brankovic respectively, his expectations of an active role of BiH entities in preparing strategically important development projects. These projects would be proposed through the BiH Council of Ministers, in the upcoming process of realization of the EU’s Multi-Beneficiary Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (MB IPA) strategy.

The RCC Secretary General stressed the need for a coordinated approach of BiH institutions in this process.

“A lasting political stability and self-sustainability of BiH, based on mutually compromising and realistic approach to key remaining issues, including foremost the constitutional reform, is crucial for BiH to take full advantage of large development possibilities offered through the MB IPA”, said Biscevic.

“In this respect, an enhanced follow up to the recent talks among the BiH party leaders, in terms of keeping the spirit and dynamics of the Prud meeting, which has also received support from the EU and wider international community, seems essential at this point. It should lead to a better functioning of BiH institutions, thus providing for the optimization of the use of the EU funds through the MB IPA.”

The meetings with the two Prime Ministers confirmed that the MB IPA provides both Republika Srpska and BiH Federation with opportunities to speed up economic development, via mutually harmonized projects and their institutional confirmation and presentation through the Council of Ministers.

The EU’s MB IPA will support joint projects by several countries, in areas such as economic and social development, fight against organized crime and corruption, administrative and judicial reform, disaster risk reduction, exchange of students and academic staff, and supporting civil society.

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