Bosnia on its ‘last chance’ for EU candidate status, says foreign minister

Bosnia and Herzegovina applied for EU membership in February 2016. The Commission adopted its opinion on the EU membership application of the country in May 2019, identifying 14 key priorities for the country to fulfil, which the country still has not fully met. [Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis]

The Western Balkan country was seeing secessionist steps taken by one of its two entities and the status of the EU candidate could be “its last chance,” said Bosnia’s Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovi, painting a gloomy picture of her deeply dysfunctional country to her EU counterparts on Monday.

“Our institutions are paralysed, reforms have been halted, and we have seen concrete secessionist steps,” Bisera Turkovic said in Brussels, according to the klix.ba news website.

“Politicians playing from the Russian sheet music have unilaterally adopted a series of laws in their entity that directly contravene our Constitution, with the aim of destabilising the country,” she said, referring to the Serb half of Bosnia, the Republika Srpska, which has already announced its withdrawal from the country’s joint army and tax system.

“The status of an EU candidate is the last chance for Bosnia-Herzegovina to redirect its political force and protect us, the region of the Western Balkans and Europe, from the spillover effects of the war (in Ukraine),” she said.

Bosnia and Herzegovina applied for EU membership in February 2016. The Commission adopted its opinion on the EU membership application of the country in May 2019, identifying 14 key priorities for the country to fulfil, which the country still has not fully met.

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