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EU’s door is open for Bosnia and Herzegovina: Enlargement chief

The European Union’s door is open for Bosnia and Herzegovina as candidate status is on the table, the bloc’s commissioner for enlargement said Monday. 

”We want candidate status granted to Bosnia and Herzegovina now. But this is also a recommendation that comes from our side with high expectations,” Oliver Varhelyi said during his visit to the capital Sarajevo.

Varhelyi as part of his official visit met with the members of the Presidential Council, Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic and Security Minister Selmo Cikotic.

”We have put a serious proposal for Bosnia and Herzegovina and candidate status on the table. Our door is open. It is our common interest to strengthen our strategic partnership,” he said.

He added that the EU path requires Bosnia to deliver progress so he can report ahead of December’s European Council to grant it candidate status.

According to Varhelyi, Bosnia needs to make swift progress in judicial reforms, addressing irregular migration and its asylum strategy, its strategy for the fight against organized crime and putting the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) contact point in operation.

”We need action to crack down on smuggling networks and fight against organized crime groups. We need strong border protection,” he said.

The European Commission on Oct. 12 recommended that candidate status be granted to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Addressing the European Parliament, Varhelyi unveiled the bloc’s 2022 Enlargement Package.

On June 23, the European Council said it was ready to grant candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina and invited the European Commission to submit a report on the implementation of 14 key priorities.

Source : AA