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Democratic Transformation in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Can Zeyrek
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Can Zeyrek
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Open Panel

Abstract

Between 1992 and 1995, Europe witnessed the most horrible crimes against humanity since World War II. The war in Bosnia obviously resulted from the outbreak of dormant ethnic rivalry and opposing political claims of the involved groups, formerly citizens of Tito''s Yugoslavia. Beside these, dysfunction of state institutions inevitably led to the breakup of the system of the country. Nevertheless, the Dayton Peace Agreement, which indeed put an end to the war in 1995, but laid down a controversial constitution for the newly emerged state of Bosnia, failed to provide realistic tools, necessary for overall transition. Today, the system in Bosnia is threatening to collapse and, among others, effective institutional reform is still lacking. The administrative provisions of the Dayton Peace Accords were laid down in the Washington Agreement in 1994. The state-level government consists of a rotating Presidency, a House of Representatives, a House of Peoples, a Council of Ministers, sixteen ministries, popularly elected Cantonal Assemblies and Municipal Councils. Beside central government institutions, Bosnia incorporates two main geographical entities with its own parallel systems and institutions. The Bosnian-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska. This institutional complexity has grown more and more impractible, as economic development and political consensus fail to appear in Bosnia. Constitutional or rather functional reform is necessary with a view to the Washington Agreement and the referring terms of Dayton, so as to strengthening state institutions, creating the capacity for self-sustaining reform and being able to engage the integration process of the NATO and the EU.