EU Commission Opens Accession Negotiations for Bosnia and Herzegovina

According to many international observers, in reality the Balkan country remains politically divided into two parts

The European Commission has recommended the start of negotiations for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s accession to the EU. The recommendation followed a December 2022 decision when the European Council granted the Balkan country the “candidate” status. “Since then,” the European Union wrote in a statement, “the public commitment of the political leadership to the strategic objective of European integration has been confirmed by important reforms that have yielded positive results. Bosnia and Herzegovina has demonstrated a strong commitment to continuing long overdue reforms.”

In particular, a law against money-laundering had been adopted, and progress had been made in the fight against organized crime and terrorism. The country is working to improve migration management. The Commission also emphasizes how the country supports the European Union’s foreign policy “in these times of geopolitical turbulence.” But, as many international analysts point out, the Balkan country actually is still politically divided into two parts: one part, dominated by the Serbian population, is closer to Moscow, while the part of Bosnian Croats is closer to the West.

“More progress has been made in a little over a year than in a whole decade,” commented EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “Of course, further progress is needed to join the Union, but the country is demonstrating that it can meet the criteria for membership and the aspirations of its citizens to become part of our family. This is why we recommend that the Council begin accession negotiations for Bosnia and Herzegovina. And we therefore recommend that the Council adopt a framework for negotiations once Bosnia and Herzegovina has taken further steps in accordance with the Commission’s report. The future of Bosnia and Herzegovina is in our Union.” The issue will be considered by the European Council on March 21-22. Other countries that are in talks to join the EU are Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.