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Brussels, 15 April 2010

Reconciliation message by Croatia's President, a step towards better regional relations - statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle

''We very much welcome the statements made by the President of Croatia as a step towards building better relations across the region. 

The Western Balkans have had a troubled, and painful past.  It is important that this past does not act as a break on progress towards a common future as members of the European Union.  The European Union is a community of shared values.  It is a community  based on democracy, respect for fundamental rights and the rule of law.  It is a community which has brought peace, stability and prosperity to countries which had been divided by war.

We want all of the countries of the region to enjoy the same benefits.  Membership of the EU depends on each country fulfilling the conditions for membership and this includes regional co-operation and good neighbourly relations.  In this context the words of President Josipovic  are important not just for relations between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina but for the region as a whole.''

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