PM Golob sees “important step” taken for Bosnia

Brussels – While Slovenia did not succeed with its proposal that Bosnia-Herzegovina be granted EU candidate status along with Ukraine and Moldova at the EU summit, Prime Minister Robert Golob says an “important step” has nevertheless been taken since the country has been put back on the EU’s agenda.

“No, I’m not disappointed, why should I be? I think an important step was taken today regarding [Bosnia-Herzegovina]. After all, an in-depth debate was carried out lasting several hours,” he told reporters after the first day of proceedings.

Golob said Bosnia had been “plucked back from a kind of oblivion” in which it had spent several years, and it now the EU leaders have a rough time frame in which the topic will be back on the agenda.

The next step is a European Commission report on the fulfilment of 14 priorities focusing on criteria that are essential for candidate country status.

Golob described it as a “purely technocratic approach” but one that is the same as the approaches applied to Ukraine and Moldova.

The Commission is expected to draw up a report by October, whereupon it will be possible to judge what a realistic time frame could be.

“It is quite possible this could be by the end of this year, but this depends neither on Slovenia nor the European Commission,” he said.

Golob acknowledged that this approach had been advocated by certain member states, whereas Slovenia wanted to give the Western Balkans a signal that it has not been forgotten or sidelined just because there is currently a war raging in Ukraine.

While he did not say who was most strongly against the Slovenian motion, sources at the EU say Austria and Croatia came out as the strongest supporters, whereas Denmark and the Netherlands were the main opponents.