EU and Bosnia-Herzegovina to monitor Balkan country's environment

The European Union and Bosnia-Herzegovina agreed on Friday to establish a system for monitoring the Balkan country's environment, a statement said Friday.

The plan calls for bringing Bosnian environmental legislation in line with EU rules, the European Commission Delegation to Bosnia said in a statement.

The commission also would help the country set up a state agency for overseeing implementation and enforcement of those rules, the statement said. No further details were immediately available.

Bosnia, still recovering from the 1992-95 war that claimed 200,000 lives, currently has no country-wide system for monitoring and protecting the environment, under threat from illegal logging and polution by old factories and vehicles.

The country hopes to begin negotiations soon on signing the EU's Stabilization and Association Agreement, a first step toward eventually joining the union.

The EU has said Bosnia must first unify the police forces of the Bosnian Serb republic and the Bosniak-Croat federation, the last major ethnically divided institutions in the country.

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