Skip to main content
European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Membership status

Potential candidate


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:


  1. October 2020
    Commission proposal to further the EU-Western Balkans agenda with an Economic and Investment Plan for the region.
  2. February 2020
    Revised methodology, presented by the Commission, to drive forward the enlargement process with a stronger political steer and in a more credible, predictable, dynamic way.
  3. December 2019
    The EU Council endorses Commission’s Opinion in its conclusions, on the EU membership application of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  4. 29-05-2019
    The Commission adopts its Opinion (Avis) on the EU membership application of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  5. 20-09-2016
    EU Council invites the Commission to present an Opinion on BiH application.
  6. 15-02-2016
    BiH submits its application to join the EU.
  7. 01-06-2015
    The SAA with Bosnia and Herzegovina enters into force.
  8. 27-06-2012
    The EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina launched the High Level Dialogue on the Accession Process.
  9. 01-09-2011
    Delegation of the European Union and Office of the EU Special Representative become one reinforced EU presence.
  10. 15-12-2010
    Visa free regime for Schengen area introduced for all BiH citizens having a biometric passport.
  11. 27-05-2010
    Commission adopts proposal allowing citizens of Albania & Bosnia and Herzegovina to travel to Schengen countries without a short-term visa.
  12. 31-07-2008
    Bosnia and Herzegovina & EU sign financing agreement for the instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA) 2007 National Programme.
  13. 01-07-2008
    Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related issues enters into force.
  14. 16-06-2008
    Stabilization and Association Agreement and Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related issues signed.
  15. 18-02-2008
    Council adopts new European partnership.
  16. 01-01-2008
    Visa facilitation and readmission agreements enter into force.
  17. 04-12-2007
    EU initials Stabilization and Association Agreement.
  18. 18-09-2007
    Visa facilitation and readmission agreements signed.
  19. 25-11-2005
    Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) negotiations officially opened in Sarajevo.

Key documents