POLITICS

Szijjarto: BiH has earned EU Candidate Status, but Brussels’ Decisions are not optimistic

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Peter Szijjarto, visited Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on Mondaywhen he handed over 200.000 doses of vaccines to the population of BiH with the assessment that this decision is based on the mutual friendship between the two countries.

In an interview, he told that in Hungary they are very aware that the only solution to get out of the pandemic, protect people’s health and lives is vaccination and they never made it an ideological or geopolitical issue, but they looked at it as it is, and that is the need of saving lives.

“The COVAX mechanism has failed, and the European Union (EU) has not lived up to expectations when it comes to the help we hoped for from them. However, since we made strategic decisions initially in the procurement of Chinese and Russian vaccines in Hungary, 65 percent of the population has been vaccinated so far,” he added.

Therefore, as of this weekend, all restrictive measures introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Hungary have been abolished, and they are now able to help others, so they decided to donate 200.000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine to BiH.

“Given the friendship between these two countries and the strong interdependence in which we live, it was clear that we would help BiH immediately. According to official data and research, Sinopharm is an effective and safe vaccine. State scientists have researched it very thoroughly and we have very positive experiences,” explained the head of Hungarian diplomacy.

Candidate status for the EU membership

Peter Szijjarto, Hungarian Foreign Minister also commented on the issue of EU enlargement and the possibility of BiH gaining the expected candidate status for membership by the end of this year, saying that if Hungary were asked, it would certainly happen, because BiH deserved that status. 

“But when it comes to decision-making in Brussels, unfortunately, I am less optimistic that it would happen. However, three things provide a dose of optimism, and one of them is the introduction of a new methodology for the enlargement process. This is a political process and it should not be stopped through bureaucracy and technical problems as was the case before,” Szijjarto explained.

Also, Slovenia took over the presidency of the Council of the EU on July 1st, which, says Minister Szijjarto, understands the situation in BiH much better than other countries that previously took the EU Council presidency because it is the neighboring country and its officials are committed to the Union enlargement.

“Slovenia understands the importance of this region to beintegrated into the EU. These three things can provide some hope when it comes to gaining candidate status for BiH,” stated the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Klix.ba writes.

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