Bosnia’s Perpetual Purgatory: The Inability to Fulfill EU Accession Requirements

Gabrielle Regimbal

Citation: Gabrielle Regimbal, Bosnia’s Perpetual Purgatory: The Inability to Fulfill EU Accession Requirements, Global Affairs Review, Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2021.

doi: 10.51330/gar.0020211

ISSN: 2660-6968

date: June 15th, 2021


This paper argues that Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) should not begin the European Union’s accession process, and should instead remain on the ‘potential candidates’ list due to their continuous inability to meet the EU acquis. While some progress was made in 2020 towards meeting this goal, such as moderate candidate victories in the November election (over the reigning populist politicians) and the first elections being held in Mostar in December, BiH has failed to address the root of the issues. By examining the European Commission reports for BiH and researching the historical context surrounding the flawed state institutions, the following conclusion was determined. Due to BiH’s failure to comply with EU accession’s political, legal, and economic requirements, they are unable to be considered for induction, and the status quo should remain. Instead, the EU should foster methods of reconciliation for the three ethnic groups that dominate Bosnian society to help build consensus and foster compromise to fulfill accession requirements.