The government of the Netherlands has announced that it is against the opening of negotiations on the admission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the EU.
In the “Letter to the Parliament” on the issue of EU enlargement, with special reference to the Western Balkans, the Government reminds of the opinion of the European Commission (EC) from 2019 that the condition for the start of negotiations is that BiH fulfills 14 priorities.
The letter states that “as a temporary step, Bosnia and Herzegovina received candidate status in 2022, with the understanding that it will take steps related to 14 priorities”.
The Government of the Netherlands states that according to the opinion of the EC, only two priorities have been met, and that only limited progress has been achieved in most of the 14 priorities, and there is a setback in the area of freedom of expression.
“The government is very concerned about the rhetoric of Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik about secession and his continuous undermining of state institutions,” the letter states.
The government of the Netherlands is “concerned about Dodik’s connections and his environment with Russia, and indicates that the implementation of EU sanctions against Russia is also a “subject of attention”.
It is concluded that the Government of the Netherlands shares the position of the EC that accession negotiations with BiH can only be opened when it achieves the necessary degree of compliance with the criteria for EU membership, and “that is by no means the case at the moment”, the letter states.