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President Pahor gives keynote address at Sarajevo Business Forum

Sarajevo, 17. 4. 2019 | press release, speech

Slovenian President Borut Pahor is currently on a working visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

President Pahor participated today at the 2019 Sarajevo Business Forum, where he gave the keynote speech. The president firstly noted that he sincerely wishes Bosnia and Herzegovina a safe and successful future, and emphasised that this safe and successful future is closely connected with accession to the European Union.

The president also believes that the European Union should also adopt this approach, as it would be in everyone’s mutual interest if the European Union’s expansion policy towards the countries of the Western Balkans, and particularly towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, were more transparent. The Slovenian president again stressed that the question of the expansion of the EU into the Western Balkans is increasingly a geopolitical issue.

In his address, President Pahor stated that he believes that the process of the expansion of the EU to the Western Balkans will be significantly slower than we would like it to be. The European Union is caught in a bind, and we cannot expect it to expand before it has gone through a consolidation process and its blueprint for its future internal development has been more precisely mapped out.

The president stated that the EU’s period of consolidation will likely last longer than was initially expected, noting that this will require a new and more active strategy from the countries that are seeking to join the European Union, and that the entire process of modernisation of society and of the country will have to be less dependent on the dynamics of the expansion of the European Union. He stated that it is therefore all the more important that the state authorities in all of the countries of the Western Balkans, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, take it upon themselves to accelerate the process of reform and modernisation of society and state. Here he emphasised that reforms and modernisation are not needed because of the European Union, but for the safe and successful future of the country itself.

As part of his working visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, President Pahor met in Sarajevo yesterday with the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, led by its Chairman Milorad Dodik. The leaders spoke about the relations between the two countries, which are excellent on all levels. They also spoke about the preparations for the upcoming Brdo Brijuni summit, which will be held in Albania in May. President Pahor is the co-chairman of the Brdo Brijuni Process.

Yesterday evening, at the invitation of the South Eastern European Youth Network and the Munja social innovation incubator, the president participated in a discussion with representatives of youth groups and organisations that work with youths. They spoke about reconciliation as the foundation for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in a lively and honest discussion concluded that good practices and positive role models are the best inspiration for a shared future.

President Pahor gives keynote address at Sarajevo Business Forum
Photo: Uprs