Home Awareness European Union: The Commission welcomes the accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina

European Union: The Commission welcomes the accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The movement to enlarge the European Union, which has gained momentum since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, continues. The European Commission will recommend to the 27 the opening of accession negotiations with Bosnia.

Welcoming the “impressive progress” made by this small Balkan country, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday that Brussels would recommend to the 27 the opening of discussions. Member states will discuss this recommendation at their next summit on March 21 and 22 in Brussels.

“No turning back”
“We have opened the main door to the EU and there is no going back,” said Nermin Niksic, the Prime Minister of the Croat-Bosnian entity, one of the two entities constituting the country. with that bringing together the Bosnian Serbs.

Milorad Dodik, leader of the Bosnian Serbs, also welcomed the announcement. “For us (the Bosnian Serbs), the European path is important because it represents the achievement of a great national objective for the Serbs – that of living in an economic and political space without borders”, with in particular neighboring Serbia, -he writes.

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“Necessary progress”

“Of course, further progress is needed to join our Union. But the country demonstrates that it can meet the membership criteria and respond to the aspiration of its citizens to be part of our family,” assured Ursula von der Leyen before the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The head of German diplomacy Annalena Baerbock warned last Tuesday in Sarajevo against Russian “rhetoric” in Bosnia – a barely veiled allusion to Milorad Dodik, who was recently decorated by Vladimir Putin.

Last week, the high representative of the international community in Bosnia, Christophe Schmidt, denounced the “anti-European” behavior of the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, calling, however, not to make it an obstacle to integration.

Candidate since 2016

Ursula von der Leyen assured Tuesday that Bosnia was now “fully aligned” with the EU’s foreign and security policy, “which is crucial in these geopolitically troubled times”.

Bosnia has been a candidate to join the EU since 2016, but negotiations accelerated after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which reignited EU interest in the Balkan region, where Russia is also influential.

This article is originally published on 20minutes.fr

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