Representatives from the European Commission discussed with the relevant authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 5th meeting of the Subcommittee on Transport, Energy, Environment and Regional Development the latest developments in these areas.
“The Commission welcomed the progress made by Bosnia and Herzegovina in several areas and encouraged the country to continue with the necessary reforms and the development of sector strategies and legislation throughout the country,” the EU Delegation to BiH announced.
In transport, the Commission welcomed the adoption of the Transport Community Action Plans for the facilitation of roads, road safety, railways and transport from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as they are essential to support the Economic and Investment Plan. Road safety management needs to be strengthened by establishing a leading Road Safety Agency. A successful railway reform requires a fully independent regulatory body and independent investigative and safety authorities, all at the state level, and a full separation of infrastructure managers and railway undertakings within historic railway undertakings. Sub-staff in the civil aviation regulator, and in particular, in the air navigation service provider, should be addressed to avoid the risk of security oversight problems.
With regard to energy, the Commission reiterated its call to proceed with the implementation of the Energy Framework Strategy in line with the Green Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement. The country still lacks alignment with the Third Energy Package in the field of electricity and gas, which hinders effective integration into regional energy markets. The Commission encouraged Bosnia and Herzegovina to pursue an ambitious National Energy and Climate Plan with a clear commitment to decarbonisation and the progressive removal of coal in energy production. The two delegations exchanged views on the latest developments regarding the planning of radioactive waste and nuclear fuel consumed at the site in Trgovska Gora on the border with BiH.
On the Environment, Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans at the Sofia Summit in November 2020. It committed to ambitious actions including decarbonisation and achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Bosnia and Herzegovina must urgently start implementing Environmental approximation throughout BiH. Strategy based on a single integrated plan for BiH and continue to develop an Environmental Protection Strategy throughout BiH. Full implementation of horizontal legislation (environmental assessments), also in an international context, and harmonization with the acquis on water and waste management, combating and monitoring air pollution, and promoting biodiversity, all in a way harmonized throughout the country, are of particular importance. The Commission welcomed the adoption of an Action Plan in January 2021 to implement peer review recommendations on the civil protection system.
In terms of climate change, the Commission welcomed the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina was among the first countries to present in April 2021 its Revised Contribution Defined under the Paris Agreement. However, it may have been more ambitious. The country needs to focus on coal removal to continue with decarbonisation and the green transition.
For regional development, the Commission reiterated the need to develop a nationwide Regional Development Strategy and to combat growing imbalances between administrative levels. BiH needs to strengthen its administrative capacity in terms of programming, implementing and evaluating EU funds.
The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Detlev Boeing, the SAA Coordinator and the Liaison Office for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Directorate General for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations and by Mr. Mirza Hujić, Assistant Minister BiH Foreign Trade and Economic Relations.