EU General Affairs Council recommends launch of application procedure for Bosnia

By bne IntelliNews September 20, 2016

The EU General Affairs Council decided on September 20 to recommend to the European Council to launch the procedure for granting Bosnia & Herzegovina candidate status, rewarding the country for its efforts to move towards its EU future despite internal tensions and disagreements.

Bosnia formally applied for EU membership in February this year and hopes to get candidate status in 2017. However, disagreements between the institutions of the country’s smaller entity – Republika Srpska – on the one side, and the Muslim-Croat Federation and the central level authorities on the other have threatened Bosnia’s European future several times.

“The Council decided to implement the procedure laid down in Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union. Accordingly, the Commission is invited to submit its opinion,” the General Affairs Council said in its conclusions on Bosnia's membership application.

It has also welcomed Bosnia’s progress in the implementation of the Reform Agenda and called on Bosnia to continue its efforts to ensure effective implementation of the agenda. Bosnia will have to implement significant socio-economic reforms, as well as reforms in the areas of rule of law and public administration to move closer to EU membership.

The council also welcomed the initialling of the protocol on the adaptation of Bosnia’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) to take account of Croatia's accession to the EU, as well as the agreement on establishing a coordination mechanism on EU matters. These were the main hurdles that Bosnia had to clear before its application could be discussed.

Bosnia’s state-level Prime Minister Denis Zvizdic said that today was a historic moment in Bosnia’s European future.

“In the past 14 months, we have worked [to reach] this phase. Today it has been successfully completed and this is one of the most positive news for BiH,” Zvizdic told reporters in Brussels.

The General Affairs Council pointed out that each country's progress towards the European Union depends on its individual efforts to comply with the Copenhagen criteria and the conditionality of the Stabilisation and Association Process. 

Following the Council’s conclusions, the EC will have to prepare a questionnaire on accessing Bosnia's preparedness for candidate status. Usually, the assessment procedure takes one year.

Related Articles

Bosnian banks face difficulties after EU puts country on blacklist

Commercial banks in Bosnia & Herzegovina have been facing difficulties in cooperating with their foreign counterparts since the country was included by the European Union in a list of ... more

Chaotic Bosnian Federation misses out on IMF funds after failing to provide bank details

The government of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Muslim-Croat Federation adopted an urgent budget revision for this year on November 18, as it will need to borrow additional BAM100mn ... more

CEE lender RBI consolidated profit down 15% in first three quarters

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), the second largest bank operating across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), reported consolidated profit down 14.7% to €394mn in the first three quarters, as its ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or 12 months full access inc. Magazine and Weekly Newspaper for just $119/year.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

Thank you for purchasing a bne IntelliNews subscription. We look forward to serving you as one of our paid subscribers. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address you have provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. The confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss