Understanding Bosnia...

posted by Julia on 2009/03/08 22:25

[ Bosnia-Herzegovina ]

... is the title of an article by Vildana Skocajic and Anes Alic (click here for episode one + two). After some delay due to negotiations with the US it seems that Austrian diplomat V. Inzko will be the next High Representative in BiH. Former High Representative Paddy Ashdown was criticised for using the "Bonn Powers", Schwarz-Schilling for his "ownership" policies. Miroslav Lajcak had a tougher stance in the crisis following the separatist threats of RS-PM Dodik, but also tried to be closer to the Bosnians, especially to young people (cf. the reci.ba website). (more...)

The next - and last - High Rep' will mainly be responsible for the closure of the OHR and the transfer of tasks to the EU Special Representative - this position will be handed over to the head of the EC Delegation.

Ex-High Representative W. Petritsch and analyst Ch. Solioz advocate that with the new US presidency and the new High Representative time has come for "a new partnership" to reform BiH's consitution (how this should work in detail is unclear...) and for more regional co-operation. 

If nothing happens, "All things considered, the current circumstances look gloomy. In view of the global crisis and the continued Bosnian stalemate, we are afraid; the situation in and around Bosnia seems even more dramatic than only a few months ago." (Petritsch + Solioz)

R. Holbrooke, the main broker of the Dayton agreement, and ex-High Representative P.  Ashdown are not less pessimistic in their appeal to the international community to intensify their efforts in BiH. 

The rise of nationalism, the "distracted international community", the lack of a "coherent strategy" for EU integration could lead to a "nasty" situation: "It's time to pay attention to Bosnia again, if we don't want things to get nasty very quickly. By now, the entire world knows the price of that. " (cf. also the International Herald Tribune from Dec. 2008).

.... Recommended further reading on the OHR and beyond: 

- ESI report: Travails of the European Raj

- Governance and Democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Post-industrial society and the authoritarian temptation



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