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European Western Balkans
Politics

Czech Presidency will have a mandate to deal with Sarajevo’s candidacy

BiH and EU flags; Photo: European Commission

BRUSSELS – The European Union has confirmed its readiness to grant Bosnia and Herzegovina the status of a candidate for full membership in the EU and called on the European Commission to prepare a new report on the reform process in the country, after which the EU would be ready to consider the possibility of granting candidate status. 

“The EU stands ready to grant BiH the status of a candidate country and to this end calls the EC to report without delay to the EU Council on the implementation of the 14 key priorities set out in its opinion, with particular attention to the EU Council returned to decide on this issue”, said the adopted conclusions after the meeting of the heads of state and government of the EU. 

According to Radio Free Europea diplomatic sources, Czech Presidency, which will have a mandate from 1 July to 31 December this year, will deal with the candidacy of Sarajevo. These sources also confirmed that they expect a relatively quick reaction from the EC for the European leaders to address the issue of candidate status for BiH and, if possible, decide at the earliest at the regular summit to be held in October and at the December gathering of EU heads of state and government.

At the summit of the European Union (EU), the issue of candidate status for BiH appeared as a problem because Slovenia did not allow the adoption of a package of conclusions where the decision on Ukraine and Moldova was taken away until a more specific sentence regarding the candidate status for BiH was included in the Western Balkans chapter. Should. As a result of this debate, the EU could not announce in time the decision on granting the candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova.

Ahead of the summit, Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob announced that he would ask that in the conclusions from the summit, EU leaders determine the time frame when BiH will receive candidate status and that he was ready to insist on this issue, “if necessary, until the morning”.

According to unofficial sources, this Slovenian initiative was supported by Croatia, Austria, and Hungary. In the end, a compromise formulation was found that confirms the readiness of the EU to grant BiH candidate status, but after a new report from the European Commission. In 2019, Bosnia and Herzegovina received a negative opinion from the EC on applying for full membership in the EU.

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