COPENHAGEN CRITERIA AND WESTERN BALKAN CANDIDATE COUNTRIESFOR MEMBERSHIP IN EUROPEAN UNION: CASE OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Zbornik radova - Journal of Economy and Business
The European Union (EU) has shown considerable interest in receiving the Western Balkan countries into the EU, as did the mentioned countries show considerable interest to join the EU. Although this is a historically very turbulent region, the EU has clearly, unambiguously and unanimously expressed the political attitude towards the Western Balkans: "The Future of the Balkans is in the European Union". In addition to goodwill, the EU is also ready to assist in this process but also each country
... must do its part of the job in the accession process. The very process of EU accession means defining and meeting necessary criteria for potential new EU members, as well as the process of accession negotiations for the full membership of the new member states. The main objective of this article is to indicate which expansion criteria or Copenhagen criteria will be the most critical to achieve for Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H), as one of the Western Balkan countries, in the process of access into the EU. In the process of meeting Copenhagen criteria, unlike other Western Balkan countries, B&H shows the least success. In our research, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a problem primarily by satisfying political Copenhagen criteria and then meeting economic and legal criteria. The lack of meeting Political Copenhagen criteria is found primarily in the absence of political consensus in B&H, which stems from the special features of the Government in Bosnia and Herzegovina (two entities and Bosnia's three main ethnic populations). With the lack of political unity in B&H, it is not possible to establish stable institutions that ensure democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and the right to protect minorities (Sejdić and Finci case, corruption, non-transparent elections, nondependent media and labour unions) Fulfilling the Copenhagen Economic Criteria - a functioning market economy is also dependent on political influence (which is also fractured). The economy of B&H is structurally unregulated and is based on the processing of basic raw materials without the high-tech industry in order to deal with the competition of the European Single Market. During the research, the used scientific methods (analysis and syntheses, descriptions and classifications, historical and comparative, induction and deduction, and quantitative analysis) showed that it would be most difficult to achieve the political and economic Copenhagen criteria for the above reasons.