Bosnia's FM says EU delays not 'a good tactic'

Bosnia will delay applying for European Union membership until it receives more welcoming signals from Brussels, its foreign minister said.

Bosnia's FM says EU delays not 'a good tactic'

Bosnia will delay applying for European Union membership until it receives more welcoming signals from Brussels, its foreign minister said on Saturday.

All the states that emerged from Yugoslavia's collapse want to join the EU. Slovenia is already a member, Croatia hopes to join in 2012, Montenegro, Macedonia and even Serbia, that faces war crimes obligations, have applied for membership.

The Office of the High Representative (OHR), installed after the 1992-95 war, still has power to dismiss Bosnian officials or overturn laws seen as endangering the country's fragile peace.

The country includes a Bosnian Musim-Croat Federation and a Serb Republic.

Like others in the Balkans, Bosnia has declared EU membership as its ultimate goal. "This is also our main goal, but it seems the European Commission is very reluctant to accept the application of Bosnia Herzegovina as long as the OHR is present," Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj told Reuters at a conference in Dubrovnik.

"I consider personally that this is not a good tactic."

International officials say they will not end Bosnia's protectorate status until the two ethnic halves agree to a series of conditions, including on how to divide state property.

Alkalaj had previously expressed hope that Bosnia would apply for membership by the end of 2009, but continuing ethnic tensions derailed such hopes.

Another delaying factor, Alkalaj said, was the parliamentary election in October.

The EU has said it wants all Balkan states eventually to join but many diplomats believe it may be a long process, given the slow pace of reforms in the region.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Temmuz 2010, 19:53

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