Golob writes to Von der Leyen, Michel on Bosnia’s candidate status

Ljubljana – Prime Minister Robert Golob has called on the presidents of the European Commission and Council for Bosnia-Herzegovina to be granted the EU candidate country status based on the fulfilment of realistic conditions. He said the EU must consider its share of responsibility for the situation in the country and the new geopolitical reality in Europe.

In the letter addressed to Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, dated 8 July and published by the government on Twitter on Tuesday, Golob noted that before being granted the status, Bosnia-Herzegovina must pass a law on the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council and a law on public procurement.

The prime minister noted that it would be important for Bosnia-Herzegovina to adopt a public administration reform strategy and an action plan and strategy for public finance management in order to demonstrate its commitment to improving public administration.

“The above-mentioned and the conduct of free and fair October 2022 elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina would indicate a sufficient commitment to the EU, thus representing a basis for granting the country the EU candidate status by the end of this year, at the December 2022 European Council at the latest,” the letter says.

Golob noted that Bosnia-Herzegovina had gone through a period of war that permanently divided its politics, administrative setup and society as a whole, adding that granting the country the candidate status would strengthen progressive and forward-looking behaviour.

The prime minister added that the primary reason for the country’s stagnation was a consequence of the “political elites’ conflicting visions” of the country and “same elites’ unwillingness to achieve the necessary compromises to move the country forward.”

Golob first proposed that Bosnia-Herzegovina be granted the candidate status at the EU summit in June, while President Borut Pahor also advocated this in a letter to Michel in June, calling for the status to be granted without conditions.

At the June summit, the EU leaders said they were ready to grant the country the status, and called on the European Commission to report on the fulfilment of 14 priority tasks defined in the opinion on the candidacy.