Brussels calls for closer ties with Bosnia

After more than 10,000 Bosnian Serbs took to the streets yesterday to protest against Kosovo’s independence, the European Commission has invited Bosnia-Herzegovina to sign a Stabilization and Association Agreement, which could be Bosnia’s first step towards EU membership.

In the Bosnian city of Banja Luka, around 10,000 people took to the streets with the message ‘Kosovo is Serbia' and calling for the secession of the Republic of Srpska from Bosnia. At the same time, representatives of the European Commission reiterated that they intend to sign a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with Bosnia-Herzegovina, which will permit the multi-ethnic state to advance towards EU membership.

EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Olli Rehn, said yesterday that he expected to "be able to sign an SAA with Bosnia-Herzegovina shortly, that is in April." Rehn added that an SAA would be a "great opportunity for the country and I trust the leaders will not miss this opportunity".

PICTURE: Map of Stabilization and Association process (SAp). In blue, member States. In red, countries running the SAp process. From Wikipedia.


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