EU leaders agree to open membership negotiations with Bosnia

EU leaders on Thursday agreed to open talks with Bosnia on joining the bloc, though negotiations will only begin in earnest once the Balkan country has passed more key reforms.

The 27 leaders gave the political green light at a summit in Brussels after the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm – last week agreed to start talks in spite of deep lingering ethnic divisions in the nation with 3.2 million inhabitants.

“The European Council has just decided to open accession negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Congratulations!”, EU Council president Charles Michel said.

“Your place is in our European family.”

Michel followed it up immediately with a warning that a lot of work remains to be done before the country can join.

“Now the hard work needs to continue so Bosnia and Herzegovina steadily advances, as your people want," he said.

In the summit's conclusions, leaders emphasized the need for Bosnia to keep on taking “all relevant steps set out” by the Commission that include economic, judicial and political reforms as well as better efforts to tackle corruption and money laundering.

“We have to respect the rules, rules of game, implementation of all necessary requirements,” he said.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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