Bosnia & Herzegovina Reminded It Needs to Align Its Visa Policy With That of EU

The authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been reminded to align its visa policy in the future with that of the European Union while taking into account the fact that the country’s tourism industry might be widely affected.

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The remarks have been made during a recent meeting between the governments of this country and Sweeden, upon which an agreement has been reached towards increasing BiH’s visa capacities, a move that is crucial for its path to full EU membership and the alignment of its visa process with the EU’s legal acquis.

The Visa Capacity Building Project, as highlighted by Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina Nenad Nešić, is a key initiative that is expected to push BiH towards full EU membership by 2030. Its implementation will not only increase visa capacities but also facilitate the harmonization of BiH’s visa process with the EU’s legal acquis, Schengen.News reports.

We will focus on harmonizing our visa policies with European standards. However, I must emphasize that there are internal specificities as well as legitimate political reasons for the constituent nations’ visa policy not to be fully consistent with the requirements from Brussels.

Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nenad Nešić

BiH Permits Visa-Free Entry to Nationals of 5 Countries That EU Does Not

In addition, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia, Elmedin Konakovic, also noted that the countries with which Bosnia and Herzegovina has not harmonized its visa policy with the EU are as follows:

  • China
  • Russia
  • Türkiye
  • Kuwait
  • Qatar

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we have two important challenges. One is to fulfill our obligations from the Stabilization and Association Agreement and harmonize BiH’s positions on crucial issues for the EU, and the European Union places special emphasis on harmonizing our visa policies with European ones.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Elmedin Konakovic

Citizens from the countries mentioned above and some others can enter Bosnia and Herzegovina without having to undergo visa application procedures, as they reach the country on direct flights. After entering the country, they try to enter Croatia and the other neighbouring countries irregularly and apply for international protection.

Croatia Asked Bosnia & Herzegovina to Harmonize Its Visa Policy With EU to Prevent Irregular Migration

As a result, in an effort to prevent irregular migrants from entering the bloc, Croatia has previously demanded that Bosnia and Herzegovina harmonize its visa policy with the EU.

Moreover, Minister Konakovic further emphasized that another important issue that was raised during the meeting with the delegation of the Kingdom of Sweden is the issue of illegal migrants, something that affects the security system and the economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

According to the Minister of Security Nenad Nešić, in recent years, BiH, as a part, has experienced increased pressure from migration flows from third countries. At the same time, he emphasized that BiH is at a turning point in terms of managing these challenges to become a full member of the EU.