EU to open accession talks with Bosnia and Herzegovina

The EU states have given the green light for accession negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, as proposedby the Commission, at their summit. Commentators discuss whether this course will reduce or increase tensions.

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Salzburger Nachrichten (AT) /

In the EU's interests

The EU wants to secure its influence in the Balkans vis-à-vis Russia and China, the Salzburger Nachrichten concludes:

“The next step towards closer ties with the Balkan state is in the EU's own interests. Investments, loans, political entanglements: the ambitions of Russia and China in the region cannot be overlooked. At the latest since the start of Putin's campaign in Ukraine it has been clear that attempts by the two autocracies to take control of the region should not be taken lightly. Not just for economic reasons, but because they pose a concrete threat to Europe's political stability and security.”

RFI România (RO) /

Enlargement entails risks

RFI România sees several difficulties:

“Let's leave aside the Balkan country's chronic problems such as a weak administration, high levels of corruption and the inter-ethnic tensions that still exist after the war in the 1990s and look at the geopolitical fault line. ... On the one hand, the Muslim-Croat Federation is eager to move closer to the EU and Nato. On the other hand there is the Serbian entity, the Republika Srpska, whose leaders have never hidden their sympathies for Russia. And behind it is the Serbia of the authoritarian ruler in Belgrade Alexander Vučić, with his ambivalent policy of enjoying the benefits of association with the EU while maintaining close ties with the Kremlin.”