Brussels, Dec 13 (EFE) – European Union ministers on Tuesday recommended Bosnia and Herzegovina be granted candidate status.
The decision is expected to be confirmed at a European Council meeting on Thursday.
In a statement, EU ministers urged Bosnia and Herzegovina to “undertake further constitutional and electoral reforms to ensure equality and non-discrimination of all citizens.”
The agreement comes one week after the EU-Western Balkans summit in Tirana, Albania, in which the EU’s 27 member states committed to accelerating the accession process to strengthen the region amid Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Earlier this year, the EU accepted the candidacy of Ukraine and Moldova, but not that of Georgia. The three countries applied for membership shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Bosnia is one of the countries that experienced armed aggression in the past. We must make it clear that we did not abandon Bosnian citizens, while we gave the EU candidate status to Ukraine,” Slovenian prime minister Robert Golob said at the foreign affairs meeting Tuesday.
Granting candidate status is an early step in the EU accession process and precedes negotiations.
Negotiations have already started with other Balkan nations Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Albania.