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Summary: 16 October 2007, Luxembourg – Council of the European Union 2824th GENERAL AFFAIRS AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS meeting, 15-16 October 2007
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
The Council welcomed the signature of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and of the Interim Agreement with Montenegro as an important step on the country’s path towards the EU. It looked forward to intensifying co-operation with Montenegro through the comprehensive framework offered by these Agreements and the other mechanisms of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
The Council highlighted the importance of Montenegro establishing a sustained and effective track record in implementing these Agreements. It encouraged Montenegro to push ahead with its reform agenda and called on all political forces to unite their efforts to accelerate that process. It urged Montenegro to intensify its efforts on the priorities set out in the European Partnership. In particular, it stressed the importance of further determined action and sustained progress in strengthening administrative capacity and in the area of rule of law, including the fight against organised crime and corruption, as well as the establishment of an independent and accountable judiciary.
The Council also underlined the importance to adopt, in a timely way and in a spirit of consensus, a Constitution that complies with international standards and the recommendations of the Council of Europe and its Venice Commission.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
The Council expressed its full support to HR/EUSR Miroslav Lajcak, and his efforts to advance reforms which are essential for Bosnia and Herzegovina to move forward, in particular the police reform. The Council reiterated that agreement on police reform in accordance with the EU's three principles remains the key priority and one of the necessary conditions for further progress towards a Stabilisation and Association Agreement and the European Union.
The Council regretted the fact that not all political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina have shown willingness to come to an agreement on the basis of the three EU principles. The Council noted some recent developments in terms of political engagement and urged the political leaders of the country to show responsibility vis-à-vis the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and their desire to advance towards the EU.
The Council took note of the upcoming PIC meeting on 30 and 31 October 2007 as the next opportunity for international community to take stock of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Council reiterated the need for Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet all the four conditions for the conclusion of the negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement as set out in the Council conclusions of 12 December 2005.
The Council reconfirmed its full support to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s European perspective. Recalling the European Council conclusions of December 2006, it reaffirmed that the pace of progress on the EU path depends on the country's own merits.
The Council expressed its full support for the Troika process and for the EU’s Representative therein, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger. The Council welcomed the intense pace of activity and the constructive atmosphere of the first rounds of talks. Noting that the Troika process will be concluded by the Contact Group reporting to the UN Secretary General by 10 December, the Council urged both parties to engage in the remaining negotiations with creativity, boldness and in a spirit of compromise and to make every effort to secure a negotiated settlement of the status of Kosovo."