Bosnia & Herzegovina has formally joined the Transport Community, unlocking more than €250mn EU funding for projects in the country.
The European Union and five Western Balkan partners signed the Transport Community Treaty for the Western Balkans at a summit in the Italian city of Trieste on July 12. However, the Bosnian minister declined to sign at the time as one of Bosnia's two entities – Republika Srpska – protested against having only a country level transport minister in Trieste and not the transport ministers of the two entities.
Earlier in September, the country finally adopted the Transport Community Treaty, finding a compromise between the demands of the two entities. According to the compromise reached by the Bosnian authorities, the country will be formally represented by the state-level transport and communications minister at international level, while internally the respective ministers of the two entities will also be involved, Klix.ba reported.
“Despite our complicated internal procedure, BiH once again showed that internal consensus can be reached and that we can successfully meet our obligations,” Bosnia’s Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said at the signing ceremony in Brussels, broadcast by the government's website.
The Transport Community Treaty will help put into action reforms affecting people's everyday lives, for instance in the field of road safety. By providing more stability, it will also attract new investors to the region and add to its economic growth. Finally, the treaty will help the Western Balkan countries align their national transport laws with those of the EU, thereby strengthening neighbourly relations, promoting cross-border cooperation and ultimately bringing these countries closer to the European Union, according to the EU website.
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