Sarajevo (MTI) – The European Union integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina is among the Hungarian government’s “key strategic goals”, Szabolcs Takács, secretary for EU affairs, said on Friday.
Hungary stands among EU members committed to keeping the bloc’s enlargement on the agenda, he told MTI by phone from Sarajevo, arguing that the best way to ease political tension in the western Balkans was to press ahead with the enlargement process.
Takacs voiced hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina would be granted an associate member status by year-end. He insisted that “integration is the only way” to maintain peace and stability and to build a modern economy and society in Bosnia.
Hungary is ready to be a partner and help Bosnia and Herzegovina in its endeavours, Takács said, adding however that while central and eastern European countries supported EU enlargement, western Europe was “weary of enlargement” and was increasingly turning inward.
Enlargement is a “tool” that can help Europe build a successful future and regain its economic competitiveness, Takács said.
Concerning details of Hungary’s assistance, Takács said Budapest could help Sarajevo prepare its chapters on farming, rural development, energy policy and environment protection.
Hungary also seeks to ensure a “more active participation” of Hungarian businesses in Bosnian projects, Takács said. During his talks, a possible loan for helping cooperation between small and medium-size ventures was also discussed, he added.