Bosnia maintains separate Serb and Muslim-Croat police forces
The parliament of Bosnia-Hercegovina has approved police reforms demanded by the European Union as a condition for continuing the steps toward membership.
The lower house of parliament approved long-disputed reforms to more closely integrate the country's two separate police forces.
Bosnia's Muslim-Croat and Serb areas have their own police forces as well as governments and parliaments.
The country has been split since the devastating war of 1992-95.
The two police reform bills were passed by 22 votes to 19 with one abstention.
The deputies had dismissed three previous proposals resulting from four years of debate about how to more closely integrate the two police forces.
The original plan was to merge the two forces but no agreement could be reached on this.
A compromise was finally brokered by the highest international envoy to Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak, and passed in a late-Thursday session.
"I want to congratulate all those who made a compromise in the interest of citizens and the state," Prime Minister Nikola Spiric said.
"Better days are ahead of us and also a lot of work related to the SAA signature".
The passage of the bills now means that the EU can sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Bosnia - a significant step towards membership.