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26 Nov '09

“Parliament for Europe 2009/10” session I

“Parliament for Europe” on Stabilisation and Association Agreement Implementation priorities, European Partnership (EP) and reform progress to date took place on 20th November 2009, in Sarajevo. The session brought together representatives of State, Entity and Brcko District legislatures with an agenda dedicated to implementation priorities stemming from the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and European Partnership (EP).

To recall, in early 2004, the EU presented its first EP with Bosnia and Herzegovina and since then the BiH's third EP came into force on 18 February 2008. The BiH Council of Ministers has subsequently developed an Action Plan for the implementation of the EP priorities. SAA between the EU and BiH was signed in Luxembourg on 16 June 2008. On the same date, the Council concluded an Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related matters between the European Community and BiH, which provides for the early entry into force of the trade and trade-related provisions of the SAA. The Interim Agreement entered into force on 1 July 2008. Subsequently, the BiH authorities have prepared a detailed Action Plan for implementation of the SAA and the Interim Agreement.

The welcome addresses were delivered by Dr Valentin Inzko, European Union Special Representative in BiH and Dr Nikola Špirić, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH. After the welcome address, HE Mr. Stjepan Mesić, President of the Republic of Croatia addressed the gathering. Dr Pierre Mirel, Director at Directorate-General for Enlargement at the European Commission outlined the progress that has been achieved in implementing both short and medium term European Partnership priorities and the SAA. Dr Mirel also highlighted outstanding key priorities and conditions that BiH needs to address. Ambassador Dimitris Kourkoulas, Head of Delegation of the European Union to BiH presented the key issues highlighted in the European Commission Progress Report for BiH.

The participation of the prominent speakers listed below offered parliamentarians from BiH to learn in detail from the experiences of officials who have already met the reform challenges BiH is now facing: Ms Anna Ibrisagic, Member of the European Parliament, Dr Davor Božinović, State Secretary for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Government of the Republic of Croatia, Ms Nikolina Radivojević, Acting Head of Department for coordination of drafting and monitoring of implementation of Croatia’s National Program for EU Accession and Ms Diana Štrkalj, Head of Department for coordination of adjustment to EU legal system and monitoring of implementation of the SAA – both from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Government of Croatia and Ms Nevenka Savić, Director of BiH Directorate for European Integration Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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