Bosnia & Herzegovina

BiH: Stano assures EU does not seek border changes in Western Balkans amid Slovenian non-literary allegations

The European Union’s position on the Western Balkans and the borders in the region is very clear; there is nothing to change, European Commission spokesman Peter Stano told a daily news conference on Tuesday.

Asked about the non-paper allegations that Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša reportedly sent to Brussels, which sets out the reintroduction of borders in the Western Balkans, the EC spokesman said they were not aware of such a document. He suggested that any questions on this issue should be addressed to Slovenian partners or the European Council.

However, Stano said, the EU position on the Western Balkans and their borders is very clear.

“Nothing needs to change on this issue,” he said. We have to work towards regional cooperation, reconciliation, that is the idea and this is the logic of the accession process. “To try to resolve all issues that may be between countries in a process that does not go into dangerous areas and adheres to EU law and EU principles,” he said.

The Slovenian Prime Minister himself denied the allegations, saying he last met with European Council President Charles Michel last year and he could hardly submit any documents in February or March this year. He stressed that Slovenia “is seriously looking for solutions towards the development of the region and the EU perspective of the Western Balkan countries” and that such claims “are trying to prevent such goals”.

The allegations were sparked by a statement by Croatian member of the BiH Presidency Željko Komšić, who told the press on Monday that Slovenian President Borut Pahor had asked members of the Presidency during his recent visit to Sarajevo if a peaceful dissolution was possible in BiH.

Bosnian Presidency member Šefik Džaferović also confirmed that this was a topic that had been raised.

Pahor, for his part, confirmed that he supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, explaining that he never called for the dissolution of BiH.

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