European Union: Twenty-Seven formally grant candidate status to Bosnia

This is the beginning of a long EU accession process for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Heads of State and Government of the Twenty-Seven, meeting on Thursday 15 December at a summit in Brussels (Belgium), formally approved the granting of candidate status to this Balkan country of 3.5 millions of inhabitants. This decision comes more than a week after a summit in Tirana (Albania), during which the European Union reconfirmed its commitment to the enlargement process in favor of the Western Balkans.

Bosnia will have to carry out major reforms to strengthen the rule of law, the fight against corruption and organized crime, the management of migration and fundamental rights, the member states specified.

Bosnia is divided between a Serbian entity, the Republika Srpska, and a Croat-Muslim federation, linked by a weak central power that is often paralyzed. This complex political system is inherited from the Dayton Peace Accords which ended the inter-communal war in which 100 000 people were killed between 1992 and 1995.

Kosovo has submitted an official request

Seven countries are already officially candidates for EU membership : North Macedonia (2005), Montenegro (2010), Serbia (2012), Albania (2014), Ukraine and Moldova (2022). As for Turkey, an official candidate since 1999, its accession process is currently frozen. Accession negotiations have been opened with Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and North Macedonia.

Kosovo, for its part, officially submitted its request on Thursday to obtain this candidate status.

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