Almost seven years after submitting a formal application for EU membership, Bosnia and Herzegovina finally received the unanimous support of 27 EU heads of state and government to join the bloc. But now the Western Balkan country of 3.3 million people must deliver reforms.
Europe in brief: Alleged corruption in the EU Parliament, hydrogen pipeline between Spain and France, EU-US subsidies dispute and can Bosnia and Herzegovina expect EU candidacy?
The European Parliament has been in the eye of the storm since it was announced that a large-scale corruption case is under investigation. Other news: A green hydrogen pipeline to be built between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe, subsidy dispute between the EU and the US, and potential EU enlargement in the Western Balkans.
Europe in brief: Russia blocks grain exports, 17 billion euros in Russian assets frozen in EU, Ursula von der Leyen visits BiH and the EU agrees to abolish the sale of vehicles with combustion engines by 2035
The EU asked Russia to “reverse its decision” to block grain exports via the Black Sea. EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders announced that 17 billion euros of Russian assets are frozen in the EU. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reiterated during a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) that the country’s future lies in the EU, and the bloc has agreed to abolish the sale of vehicles with combustion engine by 2035.
On Wednesday, the EU Commission recommended granting Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) the much-awaited EU candidate status. As recently as mid-June, when Ukraine and Moldova were given the prospect of EU membership, however, the EU had still been cautious regarding Bosnia. Geopolitically, the move comes at the right time, as it could not only prevent the Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska (RS) from seceding, but also put a stop to Moscow’s ambitions in the region.
Ahead of the elections on October 2, Bosnia and Herzegovina faces internal problems, but its parties agree on at least one strategic issue: They see the future of the country in the EU. However, they remain divided on how the country should be shaped on its path to the EU. Due to the country’s internal instability, but also the strong influence of Russia on the Serbian entity, the elections play an important role for regional and even European stability.