Bosnia-Herzegovina - Part 7

posted by julia on 2005/11/22 22:34

[ Bosnia-Herzegovina ]

The 21th November - an important date for the Western Balkans (2)

Yesterday was also the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Dayton agreement (cf. this blog, BH), which ended a 3-year war in which 100 000 people died (this figure is the result of a recent study by the Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo, which compiled a list of all victims, about 70% of whom are Bosniaks, 25% Bosnian Serbs, 5% Bosnian Croats).

On the BBC webpage you can have a look at photos of "Bosnia - then and now".

While Bosnian politicians continued negotiations on the reform of
the constitution (cf. this blog, BH, part 2), more than 100 civil society organisations appealed for
the creation of a viable state without entities.
According to them, the entities had cemented the results of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and mass deportation.

The media mainly featured background articles on Dayton (I recommend this commentary by Transitions Online) or took the opportunity to publish
reportages shedding light on the problems of Bosnia-Herzegovina "ten years after" (in this
category I recommend
"An uneasy peace for Bosnia"
, published on the Oxford University Press webpage).

A commentary by the former Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdžić (1990-93), the Spanish EU-Parlamentarian José María Mendiluce, and the Franco-German EU-Parlamentarian Daniel Cohn-Bendit sticks out (Bosnien-Herzegowina ist gefesselt, Frankfurter Rundschau, 21.11.2005): The three authors claim that the system created by the Dayton agreement is responsible for an ethnic approach to politics and for the dominance of ethno-nationalist parties. According to their analysis, this leads to corruption and favouritism, as the ethnic criterion is more important than merit (in the distribution of political posts or in the privatisation process for example). It also leads to discrimination: Indeed, Bosnia-Herzegovina is the only country which forbids a Jewish Bosnian to run for President...

Wenn wir aber ... der Meinung sind, dass es keinen genetischen Faktor oder göttliche Vorbestimmung gibt, dann müssen wir entschlossen handeln, um zu verhindern, dass sich die verrücktesten ethnischen Determinismen verfestigen und uns zu einem demokratischen Bosnien-Herzegowina hinorientieren, das den anderen Gebieten Ex-Jugoslawiens beweisen könnte, dass sie vollwertige europäische Bürger sein können und müssen, Mitglieder dieses Europas, das wir unter so großen Mühen und Anstrengungen zu konstruieren versuchen. (Cohn-Bendit, Mendiluce, Silajdžić)



This weblog is a forum for discussion on the political and social processes linked to EU integration in the Western Balkans. We would also like to use this space to create a virtual network of researchers on this topic. You are most welcome to contribute to this weblog with comments, postings, links, or photos. Please use the "add comment" function at the end of each posting!
All photos by the Photo Arts Collective of Kosovo. First photo by Burim Myftiu (Swimming olympiade in Klina). Second photo by Mimoza. Third photo by Dashmir Izairi.
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