Policy Brief Are we there yet? International impatience vs. a long-term strategy for a viable Bosnia

of 19
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Information Report
Category:

Magazine

Published:

Views: 38 | Pages: 19

Extension: PDF | Download: 0

Share
Description
Policy Brief Are we there yet? International impatience vs. a long-term strategy for a viable Bosnia
Tags
Transcript
  !"#$%&'()*'()$+ -$.)%/ 0$1+%).   " #$%&'$ ()*+*'+*,- .%/ "00%1)+'&*$*+2 *) 3-4%0/'02 5/%4%+*%) 66678-4%0/'+*9'+*%):%$*027%/; Policy Brief “Are we there yet?” International impatience vs. a long-term strategy for a viable Bosnia Kurt Bassuener and Bodo Weber 31 May 2010   Democratization Policy Council Briefing, 31 May 2010 Contents Executive Summary and Policy Recommendations....................................................................................1   I.   Introduction / How We Got Here: False Assumptions.........................................................................3   II.   2009: Intensified International Activity, Negligible Results.........................................................4 A. The Butmir Debacle, and Its Aftermath..........................................................................................4 B. Not Acting, But Reacting: The West Fumbles as Challenges Increase........................................5 B. Visa Liberalization: Model Success Story or Anomaly..............................................................6 III.   Enter 2010: International Relations and Local Developments......................................................7   A.   The EU post-Bildt and post-Lisbon................................................................................................7 B.   The US' Translatlantic Travails.......................................................................................................8 C. Russia, Germany, Turkey and the PIC............................................................................................8 D. OHR: Twisting in the Wind...........................................................................................................10 E. BiH: Secession, Third Entity, and Tycoonistan...........................................................................10 F. The Regional Dimension: Serbia and Croatia..............................................................................12 G. Popular Fears and Potential for Violence.....................................................................................13 IV.   What Now?.....................................................................................................................................14 A. Pre-Election Stabilization..............................................................................................................15 B. Voter Information...........................................................................................................................16 C. Post-Election: Strategy Shift Required.........................................................................................16 D. International Realignment Needed................................................................................................17   Democratization Policy Council Briefing, 31 May 2010 < Executive Summary The international community’s collective approach toward Bosnia and Herzegovina has failed to gain any traction, as it remains based on false assumptions. The governments comprising the Peace Implementation Council’s Steering Board (PIC) have not been able to summon the will to confront the actual challenges Bosnia  poses, preferring to operate from the off-the-shelf EU integration playbook. As a result, 2009 saw a further deterioration in the overall political situation. American political credibility in Bosnia was dented by the failed “Butmir process” last October, during and after which the US ceded direction of its policy to the EU. The Obama administration is struggling to devote sufficient attention to Bosnia’s worsening situation and continues to eschew the most plausible tool to deal with a fragmented EU – a presidential special envoy. The collective international posture lurches between frenetic diplomatic activity in search of a short-term deliverable and  passivity. This modus operandi  has allowed Bosnian political actors with unfulfilled agendas, most prominently Republika Srpska Premier Milorad Dodik, to operate without constraint, even calling the survival of the state into question. Policies among PIC members differ, but most are in a passive role, absent any clear leadership. Russia has acted as an enabler for Dodik. Germany has twin pillars of its current Bosnia policy: reducing the international commitment in Bosnia, and fixation on policy coordination with Russia. Turkey, meanwhile, has ramped up its diplomatic engagement since Butmir, with an emphasis on the relationships between Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia. It is the only member of the PIC that has engaged consistently, and can point to some results. Meanwhile, the Dayton Agreement’s enforcement instruments, the Office of the High Representative and EUFOR, have been allowed to wither due to lack of political will to employ them. The current policy therefore contains a contradiction: the Dayton Annex 4 Constitution is expected to remain for the foreseeable future, but its enforcement mechanisms might disappear in less than a year. As the October general elections approach, the spectrum of possibilities, from improvement to further worsening of the situation, is wider than at any point since Dayton was signed. While Dodik seeks to portray himself as electorally invincible, there is evidence to suggest that he has peaked and could face a voter  backlash. The Croat political spectrum is divided, while the current rules-free atmosphere has allowed flirtation with the RS to support a “third entity”. The Bosniak political spectrum is more fragmented than ever, with the emergence of new populist political party led by media tycoon Fahrudin Radon ! i " . One of the two tools of choice for Bosnian politicians, patronage, may be constrained by the economic crisis. But the other, fear, is more salient than ever, as the absence of a long-term international strategy has allowed uncertainty about the future to take hold. Recent incidents in # iroki Brijeg, Sarajevo, and Tuzla all point to the  potential for both planned and spontaneous outbursts of violence. The international default setting remains to talk down any such possibility. Bosnia is suffering a deterrence failure. Policy Recommendations Little forward movement on the 5+2 objectives and criteria or on constitutional reform is likely between now and the formation of a new government after the elections. However, in the coming months, Western governments can help create the conditions for progress in 2011 and beyond. This will require some policy reversals on both sides of the Atlantic. But these would create a context in which the difficult and broad societal compromises necessary to achieve a self-sustaining democratic Bosnia can be forged.  Before October •   There should be no Dayton a la carte , contrary to what many Bosnian politicians have concluded from the current international posture. So long as the Dayton constitution remains the law of the land, its enforcement mechanisms OHR and EUFOR must remain executive and operational – and PIC and EU members must summon the requisite will to use them as needed. Such a policy change would have two   Democratization Policy Council Briefing, 31 May 2010 = effects. It would mean that politicians vested in the current dysfunctional system cannot simply pin their hopes on obstruction of reform during an artificially defined period of waning international oversight. The policy shift would also convince citizens that they need not fear state dissolution or an imposed solution detrimental to their interests. •   The EU’s insistence that Bosnia’s forward movement toward EU membership be dependent on the closure of OHR is unfounded and counterproductive. Instead, the EU should state that its relationship with Bosnia will be founded solely on its ability to meet EU conditions and live up to its agreements with the Union. •   The EU’s pre-election communications strategy should shift from its vacuous “the EU is good for you – trust us” meta-message. Instead, it should illustrate to common citizens in understandable ways the costs and lost opportunities that have accrued from their politicians’ unwillingness to avail themselves of the opportunities provided by the SAA and enlargement process. This sort of voter information effort would provide a real public service and build the Union’s credibility with Bosnians. Were these policies adopted (and believed), Bosnian voters would be far more likely to make an informed vote, less subject to the fear that has gained potency in the past four years.  After Elections   •   Constitutional reform cannot be reduced to mere technical alterations to the Dayton Annex IV Constitution. Dayton’s dysfunction stems from its lack of popular legitimacy and from vesting power in political elites who profit from maintaining incentives to ethnic division. For Bosnia to propel itself into the Euro-Atlantic mainstream, nothing less than a system with the support of a substantial majority of each self-defined group will do. Given Dayton’s ethnocratic political elites’ incentive to maintain their political life-support system, any viable constitutional reform effort will require a creative, far  broader, more labor-intensive, and time-consuming approach to involve Bosnia’s citizens in devising a solution. The international community, the US, EU and Turkey in particular, should commit themselves to such an approach.   Democratization Policy Council Briefing, 31 May 2010 > I.   Introduction While 2009 proved to be a year in which many post-Dayton taboos were broken without consequence, 2010 – with general elections in early October – seems sure to outpace it. The failure of the high-profile “Butmir  process,” launched in October 2009 by the EU’s Swedish Presidency and the United States, accelerated the  pace of degeneration. This was further accelerated by the subsequent unwillingness to extend international  judges and prosecutors in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s organized crime and corruption chamber, reinforcing the perception on the part of Bosnian political figures that there was no longer political will to enforce the Dayton rules. Republika Srpska Prime Minister Milorad Dodik has availed himself of this international irresolution by advocating a referendum on the acts and legitimacy of the High Representative, and mooting the dissolution of the state as a solution. <    How We Got Here – False Assumptions After a string of achievements in the state-building project (which was most intense from 2000-2005), the countries comprising the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) and the European Union were convinced that their efforts had achieved durable results that would be embraced by Bosnia’s political leaders and become organic and durable. Forward movement toward EU and NATO membership was widely seen to be assured, it was just a question of how long it would take. Therefore, transition from “the push of Dayton to the pull of Brussels” as the oft-repeated phrase went, could safely be reflected in the nature and structures of international engagement. There would be no more need for the international High Representative with his executive Bonn Powers =  or a UN Chapter VII-mandated EUFOR to ensure a safe and secure environment. The EU’s enlargement approach, which had just successfully brought in a large wave of new members from Central and Eastern Europe, was assumed to hold sufficient incentives to facilitate the completion of Bosnia’s evolution into a mainstream European democracy, without need for international safeguards. A few relatively minor changes to the constitutional order would suffice to facilitate sufficient state functionality to allow this self-propulsion toward the EU and NATO. While these assumptions began to be proved wrong over the course of 2006, they have remained the basis for EU and PIC policy in Bosnia. The international community is following an obsolete flight plan on bureaucratic autopilot. The long-mooted closure of the OHR and transition to a “reinforced EUSR” has been delayed for three years by the deterioration of the situation in Bosnia and pegged to the completion of the “5+2” set of objectives and conditions. >  These are unlikely to be completed in 2010. The exact nature of the follow-on EU  presence, never defined, is now further complicated following the adoption of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.   Yet this lack of clarity on the destination has not reduced the desire of a number of EU and PIC members to accelerate the transition process. For many EU members and the EU institutions, transition is not a means to an end, but an end in itself. <  See Toby Vogel, “EU and US hope to break deadlock in Bosnia,” European Voice, April 1, 2010 - http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/imported/eu-and-us-hope-to-break-deadlock-in-bosnia-/67568.aspx, see also http://www.sarajevo-x.com/bih/politika/clanak/100326083  =  The Peace Implementation Council, meeting at the ministerial level in Bonn in December 1997, agreed that the High Representative had executive authority to ensure compliance with the Dayton Agreement. The “Bonn Powers” were then increasingly employed to remove officials and impose laws and amendments, particularly from 2000-2005. See Bart M.J. Szewczyk, “The EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina: powers, decisions and legitimacy”, ISS Occasional Paper 83, March 2010, http://www.iss.europa.eu/uploads/media/OccasionalPaper83.pdf   >   These included selected elements of OHR’s Mission Implementation Plan in the areas of state and defense property, rule of law, fiscal sustainability, and Br  ! ko District, as well as the signature of a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU and an assessment by the PIC that the situation is sufficiently stable. They are listed at http://www.ohr.int/pic/default.asp?content_id=41352 – see DPC's Post-PIC Assessment February 27, 2008 at http://democratizationpolicy.org 
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks
SAVE OUR EARTH

We need your sign to support Project to invent "SMART AND CONTROLLABLE REFLECTIVE BALLOONS" to cover the Sun and Save Our Earth.

More details...

Sign Now!

We are very appreciated for your Prompt Action!

x