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José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Remarks by President Barroso following his meeting with the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Press Point

Sarajevo, 8 April 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me thank the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the open meeting we just had.

I received a clear message: Bosnia and Herzegovina wants to become a member of the European Union.

I also replied with a clear message: Bosnia and Herzegovina is a part of the European family and has a European future.

The European Union's commitment to the European future of Bosnia and Herzegovina remains very firm. We want you to move towards membership.

It is important that Bosnia and Herzegovina does not fall behind the rest of the region in this path.

But for that, it should take its fate into its own hands.

During our constructive discussion today, I underlined we need to see determination, political responsibility and a culture of compromise in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This common vision and common desire is crucial to address the reforms that are key for progress towards the EU.

For these necessary reforms to be addressed, a government at State-level needs to be in place so that pressing priorities can be tackled.

We have seen in the past: when your country is determined - like on visa liberalization - progress is possible for the benefit of your citizens.

So let us be clear: Bosnia is not alone. The EU is ready to help you through its reinforced presence and policies, and substantial aid. But Bosnia and Herzegovina has to do its own part.

The future of Bosnia and Herzegovina depends first and foremost on the will of its citizens. Our message is one of confidence for your country and your European future.

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