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Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU accession talks may kick off tomorrow, Politico

Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU accession talks may kick off tomorrow, Politico Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

The European Commission is set to announce tomorrow, March 12, that Bosnia and Herzegovina should begin negotiations to join the European Union, reports Politico.

Bosnia and Herzegovina were granted candidate status for EU accession in December 2022. Now, the European Commission is expected to give a positive recommendation to start official accession negotiations.

Ukraine and Moldova also intend to take another step forward in the enlargement process. The European Commission will propose negotiation frameworks on Tuesday, which will establish guiding principles and basic negotiation principles for accession talks. Then, EU countries will discuss these texts.

Diplomats and EU officials warn that an agreement among the 27 bloc members, necessary for the official start of negotiations, is unlikely to occur before the June European elections. For some EU members, including Austria, it was crucial for progress in Ukraine and Moldova to coincide with progress regarding the future accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Visits to Sarajevo

The next step will be discussing recommendations for Bosnia and Herzegovina's accession by EU leaders at a meeting in Brussels next week.

Ahead of this announcement, the foreign ministers of Austria, Italy, and Germany traveled to Sarajevo last week to support the start of accession negotiations.

At a joint press conference with the German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock last week, her Bosnian counterpart Elmedin Konaković expressed hope that there would be no further disappointment. He also added that it is extremely important to remember what will happen if Bosnia and Herzegovina does not continue on the European path.

Expansion of the bloc

The material writes that the European Commission also had to present a document on how to internally prepare the bloc for future enlargement.

This especially concerns Ukraine's accession. However, this document, initially planned for February 27, has now been postponed to March 20, according to the latest European Commission agenda.

EU membership negotiations with Ukraine

On December 14, the leaders of the European Union countries approved the opening of accession negotiations with Ukraine at the summit. This happened against the backdrop of fears that Hungary would veto the decision.

For Ukraine to join the European Union, an assessment of Ukrainian legislation's compliance with EU law must take place. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the start of Ukrainian legislation screening on January 17.

Earlier, Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna stated that this procedure could take up to a year.

Read about Ukraine's path to the European Union and when to expect EU accession in an article by RBC-Ukraine.