Bosnia and Herzegovina - along with other Western Balkans countries – was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during the Thessaloniki European Council summit in June 2003.
Since then, a number of agreements between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina have entered into force - visa facilitation and readmission agreements (2008), Interim Agreement on Trade and Trade-related issues (2008). The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) has been ratified and entered into force on 1 June 2015.
Bosnia and Herzegovina applied for EU membership in February 2016. The Commission adopted its Opinion (Avis) on the EU membership application of the country in May 2019, identifying 14 key priorities for the country to fulfill in view of opening EU accession negotiations. The EU Council endorsed the Opinion and key priorities in December 2019. The Opinion constitutes a comprehensive roadmap for deep reforms in the areas of democracy/functionality, the rule of law, fundamental rights and public administration reform.
Common Foreign and Security Policy and the European Security and Defence Policy
The EU continues to deploy considerable resources in Bosnia and Herzegovina within the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The current EU Special Representative (EUSR), Johann Sattler, is also Head of the Delegation of the European Union.
The EUFOR/Althea mission continues to be present in Bosnia and Herzegovina with around 600 troops with an executive mandate to maintain a stable and secure environment in the country.
More information on the country's relations with the EU
Factsheets and Factographs available to download:
- December 2022The European Council grants candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina
- October 2022The Commission recommends to grant Bosnia and Herzegovina candidate status, on the understanding that a number of steps are taken
- June 2022The European Council affirms its readiness to grant the status of candidate country to Bosnia and Herzegovina
The European Council affirms its readiness to grant the status of candidate country to Bosnia and Herzegovina and invites the European Commission to report on implementation of the 14 key priorities set out in its Opinion with special attention to those, which constitute a substantial set of reforms.
- October 2020The Commission adopts an Economic & Investment Plan to support and bring the Western Balkans closer to the EU.
- February 2020Revised methodology, presented by the Commission, to drive forward the enlargement process with a stronger political steer and in a more credible, pre
- December 2019The EU Council endorses Commission’s Opinion in its conclusions, on the EU membership application of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- 29-05-2019The Commission adopts its Opinion (Avis) on the EU membership application of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- 20-09-2016EU Council invites the Commission to present an Opinion on BiH application.
- 15-02-2016BiH submits its application to join the EU.
- 01-06-2015The SAA with Bosnia and Herzegovina enters into force.
- 27-06-2012The EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina launched the High Level Dialogue on the Accession Process.
- 01-09-2011Delegation of the European Union and Office of the EU Special Representative become one reinforced EU presence.
- 15-12-2010Visa free regime for Schengen area introduced for all BiH citizens having a biometric passport.
- 27-05-2010Commission adopts proposal allowing citizens of Albania & Bosnia and Herzegovina to travel to Schengen countries without a short-term visa.
- 31-07-2008Bosnia and Herzegovina & EU sign financing agreement for the instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA) 2007 National Programme.
- 01-07-2008Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related issues enters into force.
- 16-06-2008Stabilization and Association Agreement and Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related issues signed.
- 18-02-2008Council adopts new European partnership.
- 01-01-2008Visa facilitation and readmission agreements enter into force.
- 04-12-2007EU initials Stabilization and Association Agreement.
- 18-09-2007Visa facilitation and readmission agreements signed.
- 25-11-2005Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) negotiations officially opened in Sarajevo.