European Commissioner for Enlargement is finalizing a new progress report on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s road to EU membership, and BiH is bound to get a bad assessment, given that no progress has been achieved in key issues.
Annual progress reports are published in Brussels in autumn, and considering that it is the election year in BiH, most of the work for this year’s report has already been finalized. The European Commissioner is waiting only for general assessment of the election campaign and elections. The final publication of the report on Bosnia and Herzegovina, as part of the annual enlargement strategy of the EU, is expected in early November, just like last year.
However, Bosnia and Herzegovina, unlike all the other countries in the EU accession process, has nothing to expect except criticism. The implementation of the Sejdić-Finci judgement, the establishment of a coordination mechanism for the EU, have become insurmountable obstacle for BiH political leaders.
The conditions for progress have not been met, and this year there have been additional problems, including disagreements over the application of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement on trade with Croatia. Therefore, the EU has threatened sanctions against BiH. In many other areas there has been a decline, for example in the application of anti-money laundering regulations, due to which BiH is threatened with international criminal measures. BiH is also moving away from the European Energy Community, and has not harmonized its foreign policy with Brussels.
This year’s report will also be the last for the Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele, since the appointment of a new European Commission is expected and he has already announced a five year break in receiving new members.