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Western Balkans

34 - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Grade: C+
Unity 2/5
Resources 3/5
Strategy 2/5
Impact 2/5
Total 9/20
Scorecard 2015: C (8/20)
Scorecard 2014: C (8/20)
Scorecard 2013: C (8/20)
Scorecard 2012: C (8/20)
Scorecard 2010/11: C (8/20)

Bosnia continues to suffer from institutional paralysis, but the new reform initiative is showing some results

Twenty years after the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country continued to suffer from longstanding institutional paralysis. Nonetheless, there was some progress on the EU’s new initiative, launched in 2014 under German and British leadership, which stresses socio-economic reforms over institutional and constitutional reforms.

Under the initiative, the Bosnian leadership committed itself to reforms, which opened the door for the SAA to enter into force in June 2015, despite Bosnia and Herzegovina not having implemented the constitutional amendments ordered under the European Court of Human Rights’ Sejdić-Finci ruling. In July, Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted the reform agenda, focusing on judicial, public administration, and socio-economic reforms. The EU has set meaningful progress in implementing the reform agenda as a condition for considering Bosnia and Herzegovina’s membership application, planned for 2016.

However, Bosnia’s accession track may be endangered by the referendum plans of the leadership of the Republika Srpska, the Serb part of the country. In July, the Republika Srpska National Assembly decided to hold a referendum on whether the state-level judiciary has jurisdiction over the entity. Several members of the Peace Implementation Council, including the EU and member states, made a statement saying that such a referendum would be a direct challenge to the legitimacy of the Dayton Agreement and the authority of the high representative. Russia refrained from adding its voice to the statement.

Tensions surfaced during 2015 in the context of the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. In July, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić was attacked in Bosnia and Herzegovina when visiting the commemoration ceremony. The Bosnian leadership subsequently travelled to Belgrade and met with Vučić. Russia also vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution referring to the Srebrenica massacre as a genocide.