Bosnia Signs the Protocol for Adaptation of the EU Stabilization and Association Agreement

Yesterday in Sarajevo, the Chief negotiator of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hamdo Tinjak, and the Head of the EU delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina signed a Protocol for adaptation of the EU Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA).

Sarajevo (Image by BIHVolim/CC BY-SA 4.0)

Sarajevo (Image by BIHVolim/CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Protocol defines technical adjustments to the commerce part of the SAA, related to the Bosnian exports to the EU and the EU exports to Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to preserve Bosnia-Croatia bilateral commerce, taking into account that Croatia joined the EU.

When the Protocol goes into force it will automatically bring back the EU trading privileges for some Bosnian agricultural exports.

The signing of the Protocol was blocked by the authorities of the Serb-dominated entity, the Republic of Srpska. The government of the Republic of Srpska argued that the Protocol would be devastating to the farmers. However, when Germany promised to help in controlling the potential damages to farmers, the authorities of the Republic of Srpska changed their stance.

The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, consisting of three members (representing three constitutive peoples of Bosnia: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats) confirmed the Protocol on Friday. Yesterday’s singing of the Protocol marks the continuation of the Bosnian path toward their EU integration.

EU accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina submitted their EU membership application in February, but the European Council is yet to decide if the nation will be granted “formal candidate” status. For now, Bosnia and Herzegovina is considered a “potential candidate” by the EU.

The application for the EU membership faced harsh criticism by the opposition, which called it “inadequate” and “unfounded”.

Many experts believe that the “formal candidate” status for Bosnia is unlikely to happen before 2018 due to the nation’s slow progress in structural and economic reforms.

by ArmedPolitics Newsdesk