The Bosnian economy has seen better days. Before the war, Sarajevo was the gem city of Yugoslavia, with a booming economy, updated technology, and revolutionary transportation. The war pulled all of these to a halt, and the time since has proved that Bosnia doesn’t have a functional enough government to implement any initiatives that would positively affect their economy. This is why Bosnia’s neighbour, Croatia, has been integrated into the European Union, but Bosnia is still struggling to meet any of the EU’s criteria. You can especially see the impact of EU integration in Croatia’s tourism industry. Croatia has taken advantage of their hundreds of miles of Adriatic Coast, their islands, and even of their capital city, Zagreb. Croatia attracts millions of tourists per year, and is only getting more popular. To achieve this kind of tourism industry, it is imperative for Bosnia to achieve accession into the EU.
Bosnia was recognized as a potential country candidate country for accession in 2003. They have had to meet many requirements to be considered for accession, such as allowing minority groups to gain seats in the House of People’s, or to be elected to the presidency. Initially, this was impossible because of the Dayton Peace Accords. The EU also requested that Bosnia create a single unified body to manage relations with the EU, but this has been continually prevented because of Republika Srpska. In 2014, the Foreign Minister of Croatia suggested that Bosnia be granted the status of Special EU Candidate Country because it is unrealistic to give Bosnia a high criteria list of things to do to achieve accession and then just wait for something to happen. It would also make sense that this would come from Croatia, because if Bosnia achieves EU status, tourism would be given a boost for both countries. Traveling would become increasingly easier between the two countries.
Even if Bosnia met trade and economic criteria, the EU stated that Bosnia’s application won’t be credible until the Office of the High Representative (OHR), which helps implement the Dayton Peace Accords, is closed. This has prevented Bosnia from submitting an application until 2016, because Bosnia has finally met the conditions of the Dayton Peace Accords, and the OHR should be closing soon. Bosnia will remain a potential candidate country until it gets a response from the Council about their application.