The EU candidate status: a new chance for Bosnia-Herzegovina – Keeping an Eye on the Geopolitical Ball

Eye on the Geopolitical Ball

Peace, Security & Defence

Keeping an Eye on the Geopolitical Ball, brought to you by Jamie Shea, Senior Fellow of Friends of Europe and former NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General, provides a weekly overview of the current and emerging crises or threats in security and defence.

Using his past experience as an ex-NATO insider, his in-depth knowledge and insights gained throughout the years, Jamie casts his eye on the state of geopolitics in Europe and across the globe. He brings an independent view and essential insight into a range of conflicts and emerging threats on our shores and further afield.

Keeping an Eye on the Geopolitical Ball is essential viewing for anyone who wants to keep track of events as they unfold.

This week on Keeping an Eye on the Geopolitical Ball, Jamie Shea, Senior Fellow at Friends of Europe, reacts to the recommendation of the European Commission to grant Bosnia-Herzegovina the status of candidate to enter in the European Union. Through a reminder on the recent past of the country, including the war and the post-war periods, Shea details the consequences of the war on Bosnia-Herzegovina, namely the rise of corruption, the rebuilding of the country, the threats of independence from the Bosnian Serbs and the accusations of being a “a failed State”. To mitigate and address the post-war period, Shea affirms that it was, and it is still very hard for Bosnia-Herzegovina to fulfil the criteria to enter in international and regional organisations due to the high level of corruption as well as the tensions within the structure of the State between the members of the Presidency and the constant victories of nationalistic parties at the elections.

Furthermore, Shea is drawing its attention especially on what the EU candidate status can change for Bosnia-Herzegovina and its future, as it would bring for instance more EU help and fundings but also pave the way for more reforms. A special committee to fight against corruption may for instance be established and more foreign investment could finance the country’s economy.

Nevertheless, Shea also asserts that Bosnia-Herzegovina has many obstacles on its way to be an EU Member State, such as the influence of Russia and China within the country, the close ties of the Bosniaks with Turkey and Saudi Arabia as well as the opposition of the Bosnian Serbs, led by Milorad Dodik, towards an integration of the country to the EU.

Shea advances that an EU candidate status would bring hope to Bosnia-Herzegovina and could strengthen the Bosnian Federal State, much needed to diminish political disturbances and corruption.

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