The EU commissioner for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic, and the minister for security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Selmo Cikotic, signed an agreement in Sarajevo on Sept. 6 by which Bosnia officially joined the EU’s Civil Protection mechanism.
Lenarcic assessed that this proved that work could be done quickly and efficiently, when there is will and interest. “The EU’s Civil Defense Mechanism is a symbol of solidarity and mutual assistance. Any country in the world can ask for help,” Lenarcic said. He added that Bosnia had asked for help several times, but that it was now becoming an equal and could provide or seek assistance whenever it wanted.
Minister Cikotic has stated that Bosnia now had the possibility to use the benefits reserved for EU members. “The membership will enable an adequate response in crises, when we exhaust our own capacities. A possibility opens for greater quotas for training experts. A benefit of entering the mechanism is also the fact that we will pay only 30 percent of the membership fee in the next five years,” Cikotic stated.
Bosnia’s joining the civil defense mechanism was welcomed by the Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, who assessed that this took place with full respect of the Civil Defense of Republika Srpska (RS). Dodik stated after the meeting of members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Lenarcic that Bosnia had no authority over civil defense and that the coordination was a process that secured cooperation within Bosnia, just like it did with the external civil defense bodies.