Bosnia and Kosovo will be lagging behind all other regional countries on the EU membership path if the EU General Affairs Council decides on Tuesday to begin accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania.
EU officials have been urging Bosnia’s leaders to finally form a government and continue the country's EU membership path but bickering among parties that won the election a year ago over Bosnia’s future in NATO has blocked the formation of the government - officially called the Council of Ministers.
“It is crucial that all governments are formed at all levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We cannot suggest a continuation of negotiations to member countries if we have nobody to talk to on the other side,” EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said in May.
However, according to the old Council of Ministers Chairman Denis Zvizdic, who is the acting PM until a new one is named, “the Council of Ministers has nothing to do with Bosnia’s candidate status.”
“The candidate status is most of all connected to the general political atmosphere in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said in June.
European Union (EU) foreign ministers reiterated their commitment to Bosnia's EU perspective “as a single, united and sovereign country,” and called for government formation at all levels, according to the EU Council's conclusions passed on Monday.
The call came a day before the EU General Affairs Council meeting on Tuesday where possible accession talks for North Macedonia and Albania are to be discussed.
Bosnia will not be a topic at the meeting.
“That is another bad message for us, and it is the result of a lost year after the election,” Bosnia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Igor Crnadak said on Monday.
Bakir Izetbegovic, the leader of the main Bosniak party in the country, the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), said that “it is time to reach a compromise.”
He said the messages from a recent trilateral meeting between Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Serbia’s Aleksandar Vucic and Bosnia’s three Presidency members, Sefik Dzaferovic, Zeljko Komsic and Milorad Dodik, are “encouraging.”