Council decision puts country one step closer to official ‘candidate’ status: PM Cvijanović in a mee
The Council gave the green light for the European Commission to assess whether the country should be given official “candidate” status.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska, Zeljka Cvijanovic, participated today in a meeting with the Delegation of the European Union to BiH which was devoted to implementation of the Reform Agenda for BiH. The meeting was attended by the Director for the Western Balkans at the Directorate General for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission, Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to BiH, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers, Denis Zvizdic and Prime Minister of the Federation of BiH, Fadil Novalic.
Prime Minister Cvijanovic stated after the meeting that out of 74 measures foreseen by the Reform Agenda, the Government of the Republic of Srpska completely realized 38 measures in 2015 and 2016.
"35 measures are in the pipeline whereas only one measure remained out of reach since we are waiting for certain regulations to take effect while discussing it with social partners. It accounts for 98.6% of implemented activities and means considerable progress. I believe that we shall finish that remaining item very soon", Prime Minister Cvijanovic said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that huge work was ahead with regard to rationalization of public administration.
"We have to create better conditions for strengthening the business sector, and public administration shall undergo downsizing. We want public administration to serve the citizens, to be efficient and cost effective", the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Cvijanovic stressed that the Republic of Srpska adopted a set of laws for combating grey economy and added that she was satisfied with the work done at the level of the Republic of Srpska.
"I am convinced that more people are actually employed than the records show and that reported income base was lower than the real income of employees and we intend to deal with this in the future. The measures that we are implementing represent a decent set of measures which majority of countries undertake once they commence the process of public sector restructuring", the Prime Minister said and added that the measure included in the Reform Agenda were part of the RS Economic Policy expressing at the same time optimism regarding the results the measures would generate.
Director for the Western Balkans at the Directorate General for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission, Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, stated that she was impressed with the results which had been achieved on implementation of the Reform Agenda for BiH.
"A tangible progress has been made but we must not lose focus since this Agenda is intended to improve the socio-economic situation", Ms. Calavera said.
Head of the Delegation of the European to BiH, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark said that the progress made in implementation of the reforms was more than satisfactory.
"There were some very difficult socio-economic decisions made over the past year and it is evident now that those decisions have begun to yield results", Wigemark said.
Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdic said that so far 40% of the measures foreseen by the Reform Agenda have been implemented and stressed coordinated approach and good cooperation among various levels of government and was therefore expecting that the EU External Relation Council would provide the green light for the candidate status of BiH during the tomorrow's session in Brussels.
Prime Minister of Federation of BiH, Fadil Novalic sated that the improvements due to implementation of the Reform Agenda were visible and that the reforms concerned have already started producing results when it comes to employment and combating unemployment.
Prime Minister Novalic specified that the Federation of BiH Government implemented one third of the measures form the Reform Agenda and that he expected that its effects would be amplified in the course of the next year.