EU foreign ministers endorse Bosnia deal, unblock country's stalled membership bid

European Union foreign ministers have unblocked Bosnia's stalled membership bid by agreeing to implement a pre-accession agreement with the troubled Balkan nation seven years after it had been reached.

Monday's decision comes less than a month after Bosnia's parliament adopted an EU-required economic and social reform plan that could end a long period of stagnation in one of Europe's poorest nations.

The implementation of the agreement entails increased EU assistance to Bosnia and strengthening of political and economic ties between the country and the 28-nation bloc.

But EU foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, have warned Bosnia that it must achieve "meaningful progress" in the implementation of reforms before it can formally apply for membership.

Bosnia has been plagued by corruption and a staggering unemployment rate of 44 percent.