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Bosnia: infrastructure projects financed by EU at a dead end

Sarajevo ignored EU plea and failed to change law on excise duty

06 October, 11:21
(ANSA) - BRUXELLES, 6 OTT - Infrastructure projects between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina, agreed in July at the Western Balkans Summit in Trieste, are at a dead end in spite of the signing of the Transport Treaty by Bosnia and Herzegovina on 18th September.

The Bosnian government has failed to modify the country's excise duty regime as required by the EU. This has led the whole process to a standstill, European sources say.

The adoption of a new law on excise duties was scheduled to take place in September. "Without the new law, the infrastructure projects will not go ahead and this will be another missed opportunity for Bosnia", EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn has warned.

Hahn repeatedly called on Bosnian leaders to do "everything needed" to ensure that the legislative package was adopted, but his plea has been largely ignored.

The connectivity package announced in Trieste is worth a total of 46 million euros and includes four projects submitted by Bosnia and Herzegovina: the completion of three sections of Corridor Vc (Ponirak-Vraca, Zenica tunnel, and Johovac-Rudanka) as well as the renovation of the river port in BrĨko. Besides improving domestic and international transport, it provides an opportunity for creating jobs, attracting new investors and boosting economic growth.(ANSA).

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