A large number of local officials, including the Chairman of the BiH Presidency Dragan Covic are publicly stating that they expect BiH to get the status of candidate next year. Considering the experience of the neighboring countries, and the internal organization of BiH, these expectations seem maybe too optimistic.
Average waiting time between submission of the application and acquiring status of candidate for the countries in the region that have candidate status is 2 years. Macedonia had minimum waiting period of 21 months, from the 22nd of March 2004, when it submitted an application until the 16th of December 2005, when it acquired the status of candidate.
Montenegro waited for 2 years, from the 15th of December 2008 to the 17th of December 2010. Serbia waited for slightly longer time, a total of 26 months. Serbia submitted the application for membership on the 22nd of December 2009, and acquired the status of candidate on the 1st of March 2012.
Albania is outstanding from this average only because of internal political problems, and its waiting period for the status of candidate was 5 years. Albania submitted the application for membership on the 28th of April 2009, even before Serbia, but it received the candidate status on the 24th of June 2014.
BiH, after the submission of the application for EU membership, is on the penultimate place in the Western Balkans by the degree of European integration. Behind BiH is only Kosovo, which signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU on the 27th of October 2015, and now is waiting for its ratification and entry into force.
Montenegro went the furthest, and it has more than 20 opened membership negotiations, Turkey is also in advanced stage of the process, while Serbia opened the first 2 chapters out of 35 late last year. Macedonia is waiting from the 1st of October 2009, although the European Commission proposed the start of negotiations on several occasions, because of the problems with Greece regarding the name, while Albania is in the stage of determining the beginning of negotiations.