At today’s summit, the heads of government of the member states of the European Union confirmed the recommendation of the European Commission and granted Bosnia and Herzegovina the status of a candidate on the way to the European Union.
Today’s session of the heads of government was marked by numerous topics, including the war in Ukraine, additional aid to this country, the energy crisis, but also security and defense, which has received a lot of attention within the EU in the last few months.
In addition, ministers and officials of the European Union discussed the recommendation of the European Commission on the granting of candidate status to BiH and unanimously adopted this decision.
Bosnia and Herzegovina applied for EU membership in February 2016. In December 2022 the Council recommended granting Bosnia and Herzegovina EU candidate status, on the condition that the country take the steps specified in the European Commission’s October 2022 recommendation to strengthen the rule of law, the fight against corruption and organised crime, migration management and fundamental rights.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application for EU membership was submitted on 15 February 2016.
The Council adopted conclusions on the application on 20 September 2016, in which it invited the Commission to submit its opinion. In the conclusions, the Council also called on Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue its efforts to ensure effective implementation of the reform agenda, which includes reforms in the area of rule of law and public administration.
In order for EU accession negotiations to be opened, Bosnia and Herzegovina must implement 14 key priorities set out in the European Commission’s opinion of May 2019 on its EU membership application, which focus on the areas of democracy and functionality of the state, the rule of law, fundamental rights and public administration reform. The opinion provides a comprehensive roadmap for reforms to guide and support the country on its path towards EU integration.
The Council welcomes the Commission’s opinion and has called on Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement the 14 key priorities. In December 2019 the Council urged executive and legislative bodies at all levels of government to start addressing the priorities in line with the legitimate aspirations of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to advance towards the EU.
In June 2022, the European Council also called on all political leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to swiftly implement the commitments set out in a political agreement reached on 12 June 2022 and to finalise the constitutional and electoral reform so as to allow the country to advance on its European path in line with the priorities outlined in the European Commission’s opinion.
In December 2022, the Council underlined the urgency for the country to move forward on its EU path, particularly via fulfilling the priorities in the opinion.
🇪🇺 The future of Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in the EU.
🇧🇦 Following EU leaders' endorsement, Bosnia and Herzegovina is an EU candidate country.
The EU #EUenlargement process encourages democratic reforms and promotes prosperity in Europe.
— EU Council (@EUCouncil) December 15, 2022