Bosnia submits application to join EU

EU leaders welcome Bosnia and Herzegovina's application to become EU member state

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

A volunteer holds up a mock European passport during a campaign by the Centre for Promotion of Civil Society in Sarajevo in this December 21, 2010 file photo.

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini told to reporters in Brussels on Monday that Bosnia and Herzegovina has applied to join the EU.

But Brussels signalled that former Yugoslav country has not met yet all conditions to submit the application.

"At a time when the Union is questioned from within, seeing that with our immediate neighbours there is such an energy and willingness to join and work hard to adapt their countries, society, economy, institutions, systems to the European standards, gives us the sense of responsibility we have also towards our European Union citizenship," she told journalists.

Mogherini said that all members of the Union will analyse the application and said it was good news for the bloc and for the Balkan country.

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn also welcomed Bosnia’s membership application as renewed commitment to implement reform agenda.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders, whose country holds the six-month EU rotating presidency, said the EU was happy to see "Bosnia back on the reform path."

"It is urgent to maintain the positive momentum by continuing to implement reforms," Koenders said but stressed that it would take time.

Dragon Covic, the chairman of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, referred to membership of Croatia in 2013 while Serbia and Montenegro were now making progress towards membership too.

"It is a great pleasure to be able to (submit this application) on behalf of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina ... Croats, Serbs and Bosniaks," Covic said.

Bosnia and Herzegovina went through a war that killed at least 100,000 people between 1992-1995 during its struggle to separate from Yugoslavia before the war ended with the Dayton Agreement.

Bosnia also is facing deep divisions between Serb, Croat and Muslim communities, which had blocked the political and civil society reforms demanded by Brussels for membership until last year.

TRTWorld and agencies