A month-long military exercise in Bosnia and Herzegovina shows the European Union's commitment to the country's European future.
That's the message from the deputy head of the EU mission to Bosnia, Aurelie Valtat.
The peacekeeping mission, EUFOR, had already beefed up its military presence there earlier this year amid recent tensions -- from some 600 to 1100 troops on the ground.
The comment was made as further thousands of troops from 20 different countries take part in drills across Bosnia.
"It will demonstrate the EU's resolve to reinforce the EU force in-theatre component with over-the-horizon reserve forces from EU member states and NATO -- if needed," Valtat said.
"It thereby underlines the EU's unequivocal commitment to the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
However, the country's leaders will have to undertake reforms in certain key areas in order for its EU candidacy to be deemed official.
Meanwhile, those taking part in the drills include special forces from Italy, Austria and Turkey.
The EU-led peacekeepers who are deployed as part of Operation Althea oversee the military implementation of the 1995 Dayton Agreement, which was created to end the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia.