The EU Grants Candidate Status to Bosnia and Herzegovina

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EU candidate status signals to Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) authorities that Brussels expects reforms from Sarajevo, European Council President Charles Michel said. The European Union granted candidacy status to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Thursday, 15 December. The Heads of State and Government approved a respective recommendation by EU ministers for European Affairs at a meeting in Brussels. European Council President Charles Michel called the decision a “strong signal” to the people of this Balkan republic. At the same time, granting candidate status points to a “clear expectation for the new authorities to deliver on reforms,” the European Council president added. In particular, Brussels expects Sarajevo to improve its fight against corruption and governance. Bosnia and Herzegovina applied for EU membership in 2016. However, the European Commission did not recommend candidate status to the EU Council until October 2022. The decision was due to hopes for radical reforms in B&H, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said at the time. EU candidate countries In June, Ukraine and Moldova were declared candidates for EU membership after submitting applications for accelerated accession. Georgia submitted a similar application, but was only granted “European perspective” status. Brussels sent Tbilisi a list of 12 criteria for further progress towards European integration. Besides Ukraine and Moldova, current candidates for EU membership include Albania, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Turkey. However, there is no set timetable for any of these countries to join the EU.