EU member states agree to give Bosnia EU candidate status -diplomats

Bosnia will join the ranks of other nations seeking EU entry.

 A member of European Forces (EUFOR) stands in front of the Bosnia and Herzegovina and European Union flags during Change of Command Ceremony in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina March 28, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC)
A member of European Forces (EUFOR) stands in front of the Bosnia and Herzegovina and European Union flags during Change of Command Ceremony in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina March 28, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC)

European Union general affairs ministers agreed on Tuesday that Bosnia should become a formal candidate to join the 27-nation EU in a recommendation that will have to be endorsed by EU leaders on Thursday, diplomats said.

Bosnia will be joining other EU candidates -- Albania, Moldova, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine -- in the process to join the EU which can take many years and involves complex negotiations on adjusting local laws to match those of the EU.

Turkey, for example, has been an EU candidate since 1999.

"It was part of the enlargement conclusions which have been agreed this morning," one EU diplomat said.

 EUROPEAN UNION flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels. (credit: YVES HERMAN/REUTERS) EUROPEAN UNION flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels. (credit: YVES HERMAN/REUTERS)

"And with the clear condition that the reforms set out by the Commission and the 14 key reforms agreed in 2019 have to be fulfilled before negotiations would start," the diplomat said.

"It's a political signal in light of the current geopolitical situation," said the diplomat.