The causes and consequences of the abyss on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s path towards the European Union

Mile Lasic, Ph.D.: The causes and consequences of the abyss on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s path towards the European Union[1]


In reference to the last great enlargement of the European Union (EU), the one from 01. 05.2004., when the EU has admitted 10 new members from Eastern and South-eastern Europe, one could hear both euphoric and sceptical voices. Renowned South German daily newspapers Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) accompanied this widest EU expansion in the history with words: EU is not a conjectural program for creating new jobs, nor is it the recipe for happiness, but with this act Europe has made a step forward on the long road to become a peaceful and prosperous continent. The fact is that a project called united Europe needs courage and risks, but a communal life should bring something good to all Member States.

There are five good reasons against Great Europe and they are all wrong,  subsequently stated the prominent German weekly magazine for culture and social issues Die Zeit, in reference with local fears due to the relocation of jobs to the East and the possible return of misery; then the usual story of everyday people about others who will benefit, while we’re losing; and how, allegedly, the current EU expansion is creating gangsters without borders; or, how new countries will not comply with existing environmental standards, and that the expanded Europe is becoming too cumbersome and unfit for managing. In all of these stereotypes, of course, was even a fraction of the truth, but the fact that bears the ultimate importance is that the costs of not expanding would be far greater than EU’s costs of expanding, noted Die Zeit. Why the Western Europe facilitates the opinion that European East wants only money from the West, wonders SZ and the Polish writer Andrzej Stasiuk.

I guess the EU is a little more than statistics and reports from stock exchanges, subsidies and economic development? We have lived the imitation of life for a long time and long have cherished the illusion of Europe and freedom and you are living images of our future, which takes away from our lives the mystery and excitement, and makes it boring. In your bloom and rise we could not participate, and now we should help you in your downfall. If anything is fascinating in what is coming toward us, are the mistakes that we are going to commit ourselves. It is possible that our continental mission is to deform your legacy, to convert it into a grotesque, to make a parody out of it and in that way prolong its life. Cooperation won’t be easy neither for us, nor for you, said Stasiuk.

A lot of fears and prejudices accumulated in the so-called old and new EU countries in the past centuries so one could not easily part from them in occasional celebrations. Well, if the restraints and scepticisms are clear, opposition to EU expansion is an anachronistic phenomenon. For the future of Europe is definitely in transnationalization, the interpenetration of cultures and economies, as it – otherwise – the cultivation of closed economies and surpassed concepts of  national  states would led to conflicts with others, primarily with neighbours.

The writer György Konrad did not hide his excitement when his Hungary eventually became a normal country. By the enlargement or better yet the unification of the EU – wrote Konrad for Die Zeit – horizons become wider, freedom greater, and experience richer. Hitler’s and Stalin’s states, behind the proud facade of national sovereignty, were doing with their residents what they wanted and I would be glad if the European Association chopped off the power of the national political class both from above and from below.

For Germany, project Europe represented the rehabilitation, stated, exactly 10 years ago at a forum in Berlin, Polish professor Anna Wolf-Poweska, so why it could not be the same for other nations and countries? This was spoken ten years ago by former German Chancellors Helmut Kohl and Helmut Schmidt. It turned out that the visionaries were true realists said Kohl, from whom originates the claim that European integration is the only alternative to war! And according to Schmidt’s opinion, the value of the European project is primarily in non-violence and gradual overcoming of mutual prejudices and gaps, in a patient building of the war’s alternative.[2]


The European Union (EU) is a regional political and economic integration, and an alliance of 28 European countries. In addition to the six founder countries (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg), which established it with the Treaties of Rome (EEC and Euratom) 03/25/1957 by the name – European Economic Community (EEC), by many cycles of enlargement 22 European countries were admitted. In 1967 so called. fusion contract, came into force i.e. the Agreement on Association of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community and EURATOM in an European Community (EC) so the EC will make a supranational first pillar of the EU Treaty of Maastricht (entered into force on 01 11.1993.). It was decided by majority vote, while foreign and security policy entered the interstate as second pillar and police and judicial cooperation in interstate as third pillar of the EU Treaty, in which the intergovernmental negotiation is practiced with the right to use the veto.

At Maastricht, therefore, EC transformed into the EU, aiming to become the EU: a) economic and monetary union, as it has, in the meantime, succeeded; and b) Political Union, which has not yet become. By the EU Treaty of Maastricht, equalled policies from the first pillar sustained international -legal personality, while foreign- security and police- judicial were left without it as equalled EU policy.

After the latter contract (Amsterdam, Nice) and unsuccessful process of ratification of the Constitutional Treaty for Europe (European Constitution), EU managed to bring the so-called replacement for the European Constitution, the reform treaty, named after the acceptance site of „Lisbon“ (adopted on 01.10.2007, entered into force on 01.12.2009.), who intervened post festum in the EU Treaty of Maastricht and the Treaty of establishing the EEC in Rome.

After these interventions in the EU the three pillars of Maastricht did not exist, but more than 85% equalled policies are decided through the so-called. double majority, which means that a decision is valid if it is voted by  55% of the total number of members, which moreover makes 65% of the total EU population. This prevented a few more populated members from overpowering undersized members, and that above fifty percent of undersized states can overpower populous EU members. In addition, the European Union has for the first time and entirely became international legal entity. European External Action Service (EEAS) was also established.[3]

The European Union is a sui generis creation, it is neither supranational nor simple union of states, it’s not a federation nor a confederation, because its political and economic system does not contain only federalist, or only interstate ways of co-decision. Despite this compromise, the EU was continually evolving, so all its members had multiple benefits from these voluntary associations based on firm contractual relationships and rules i.e. their amendments or modifications. The EU has already become, in fact, an alternative to all the historical and political arrangements type such as an empire or union of states in the performance of a hegemon. It has become an alternative to the concept of the nation-state, although it is not the negation of national member states, but implies, its role in the function of equalising policies and harmonizing relations within the EU, as well as the implementation of European policies and decisions of the European Court. The EU operates on the basis of the principles of subsidiarity and the construction of the Euro region, the harmonization of relations and solidarity, and in accordance with the model of multilevel governance, the conferred and / or split sovereignty.

In this purpose European institutions were built and responsibility was shared between authorities and the EU institutions and EU Member States. For example, while the European Council (heads of state or government of EU member states) and the EU Council (Ministerial Council in a dozen constellations) represent primarily the governments of member states, through which the organs and institutions of the EU acquire a fraction of mediated democratic legitimacy, the European Parliament is not a classic parliament but it is the only working body within the EU with direct electoral legitimacy, but is not still the main legislative body of the EU, because it is the Council of the EU. It is however the main and the legislative and executive body of the EU, so it is clear that analogies must be avoided regarding the division of powers between the European institutions and the separation of powers within member states on legislative, executive and judicative branch. The best way is to understand the EU as it is, which means only to understand its acquis communautaire. Or, no matter how it seems that the European Commission (EC) i.e. European governments, because it is operating, preparation and inspection body within the EU, and the patron of all the EU treaties, which means the most European institution, the European Commission is not the chief executive, but it is the Council of the EU, with all its other specific jurisdiction.

And the European Court, established in 1951, at the end of the eighties of the last century had received the Court of First Instance, but the disputes between states and the EU institutions are still not solved in the two-stage process, but it is concerned with different jurisdictions over the smaller and more important disputes.

Within the EU, based on respect for the so-called  four freedoms (the movement of people and ideas, goods, capital and services) over the past six decades sui generis political and legal and economic system was developed, because the so called  positive integration (what is wanted by agreements) and the so-called  negative integration (which by internal logics and immanence surpassed the goals set in the contracts) led to the deep interconnectedness of economic and legal and political culture of the EU countries, and consequently made the EU an unavoidable fact of the world economy and world politics. Because of that it can be claimed that the time has passed when the EU was an economic giant and a political dwarf, or that in the conditions of global financial and debt crisis in the EU (and the Euro zone crisis) EU is validated as a respectable economic, political and international civilian force measured by the criteria of solidarity.

The EU extension policy for new members, with strict adherence to procedures of approaching, is one of the most successful EU equalizing policies. It is hoped that it will remain the top priority of the EU, because the countries with the status of potential candidate or candidates in line to join are precisely the countries of South Eastern Europe: Turkey, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo (under UN Resolution 1244/99). Casually said, the fate of Ukraine is quite uncertain and its relations with the EU, while Iceland withdrew from the candidate status and the admission to the EU during 2013.

The EU admission process is particularly demanding for the post-war transition countries, because in them the alleged political elites are still leading their unfinished wars. And in Bosnia and Herzegovina there is an unfinished war or a soothed, frozen conflict, which results in exemplary inability to build a common vision of its future in BiH, and in the EU. In the described framework, the current Bosnia and Herzegovina’s abyss on the road towards the EU (and NATO) can be best conceived and the inability of building a functioning system of coordination to the world by speaking only with one voice. The situation, in which BiH is currently, regarding European Integration, is dramatic, because all Western Balkan countries are in a better position than BiH except Kosovo.[4] The fact that BiH is at the same level as Kosovo, although it had signed the SAA with the EU at a time when Kosovo was experiencing the so-called postmodern international recognition in 2008, controversial from the standpoint of international law and which has the consequence that Kosovo has not yet been recognized from five Member States, and that it  has not yet become a member of the UN, is the best evidence that the BiH is not moving forward with European and Euro-Atlantic integration, which is the main danger for its bear existence. It might be in vain that BiH is internationally recognized state for 22 years and a full member of the UN and in six year long international legal contractual partnership with the EU, if it is still not able to be understood as a multinational country that requires complex solutions for complex situations. Tiring and stubborn exhaustion, without ambitions for honourable compromise, could be followed by even more absurd dissolution disputes, which would force the EU to suspend its partnership with Bosnia and Herzegovina, or for it to be treated as a mission impossible in terms of its future in the EU. Further interlocks, separatist and / or centralized calling into question the territorial and political integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or a multinational composition of Bosnia and Herzegovina, within the EU could open the question of termination of the contractual partnership with BiH. Because of that, all BiH policy makers should comprehend that BiH must respect the provisions of international law and internal constitutional framework and environment, no matter how they occur, which means respect for the EU accession process and the shared responsibility between the state and the entities and cantons (the Federation) and the District of Brcko, in order to move forward, and on the eve of accession to the EU finally reached the pro-European constitutional and legal reform.


What kind of demanding processes occur within the process of admission to the EU is possible to envision by understanding some of the most important phrases, such as a) the strategy of bringing b) acquis communautaire, c) the acceptance of the acquis, and a number of others. The strategy of bringing is the fundamental concept by which is meant everything that a country has to do during the EU accession process. This strategy has been established for the first time at the end of 1997 at the summit of the European Council in Luxembourg and referred to the 10 candidate countries in Southeast Europe which were admitted in EU May 01. 2004.

This strategy implies a framework for a structured dialogue between the countries who want to be in the EU and the EU institutions, as well as specific instruments. It is established separately for each country that wants to be headed to the EU, according to its assessed starting assumptions and possibilities. The acquis communautaire, however, is a French term for a legal attainment or legal heritage, which basically means the EU as it is. Acquis implies the primary sources of EU law (all founding contracts and amendments, accession treaties of new Member States and EU agreements with third countries) as well as secondary sources (all legislation and policies of the European Union), while the third source of European or communitarian law is the practice of the European Court.

Speaking in a common language, the acquis consists of all contracts and all European Union laws, declarations and resolutions, international agreements of the EU, decisions, recommendations and guidelines, as well as the judgment of the European Court, and even joint action undertaken by Member States in areas of common foreign and security policy, judiciary and internal affairs.

The acquis communautaire represents, moreover, one of the four principles of the EU extension, because it implies the obligation of all countries that want to be a member of the EU to unconditionally accept everything that the EU has already become, what it is now. Accepting the acquis does not mean, however, only accepting more than 12,000 different documents of the European Union, with over 120,000 pages of text, but also the EU as a whole as it is. Therefore, the EU accession countries should accept as their all what has happened in this European integration before their accession to the EU.  Candidate countries must, therefore, accept the acquis during the accession to the EU, and make it part of their own legislation.

In the process of bringing a country in the EU, in the first place, normally, is established a principle, a standardized roadmap, and then an aspired country must do a feasibility study, so that the EU could bring judgment on the possibilities of the country to conduct negotiations on a stabilisation and accession. For the final qualifications for membership in the EU 33 or 35 chapters must be negotiated except the first two chapters within which lie fundamental agreements on which the EU is based are not negotiated, but they are accepted as they are. Exemptions for accession to the EU made to Bulgaria and Romania are undertaken for the geopolitical reasons, but it is not advisable to refer to them either in Bosnia or in other candidate countries from the region „Western Balkans“.

In the further implementation of the EU-phenomenology, it is necessary to explain at least a few important rules and procedures. First, admission to the European Union is regulated in Article 49 of the EU Treaty of Maastricht. According to it, every country that is making the request for admission to the EU has to fulfil two conditions: a) be a European country, and b) and comply with the basic principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, ergo be a legal state (Article 6, paragraph 1 of the Contract). The European Council decided, however, the admission of some EU countries shall occur only after the hearing of the EU Commission, who in the meantime through questionnaires and in other ways had obtained knowledge of the respective country. Afterwards the European Parliament should agree with an approach. The decision to initiate the process of accession or of bringing must be unanimously adopted by all 28 Heads of State or Government of the Member States. After that, the access conditions, the access date, and possibly necessary transitional periods for adjustment to the treaties on which the EU is based, are regulated in the form of a separate agreement between the countries that accesses the EU and all its members. And accession contract, at the end of procedures of bringing, must be – equal to that of the first partnership agreement of the stabilisation and accession – ratified by all member states in the country that has access to the EU, in accordance with its constitution.

Besides the mentioned conditions of Article 49 and Article 6, paragraph 1 of the EU Treaty, each country must meet additional criteria, established at the EU summit in Copenhagen in 1993, which is hence called The Copenhagen criteria. These criteria are validated and slightly expanded at the EU summit in Madrid in 1995.

In order for a country to become a member of the EU, in accordance with The Copenhagen criteria it must meet in full three (front) conditions: a) meet the political criteria, which means to secure its own institutional stability as a guarantee for a democratic and legal state order and respect for human rights and for the protection of minorities; b) meet the economic criteria, which means that it has a functioning market economy and that it is able to withstand a competitive pressure coming within the EU; c) unconditionally fulfil the acquis criteria, which includes taking over the entire primary and secondary gained rights of the EU, including that the aims and objectives of the political union and economic and monetary union are made their own.  After all, the European Council can conclude the accession negotiations with one country only if they meet the political criteria. As already mentioned, the European Council at the Madrid summit in 1995, complemented the existing three Copenhagen criteria with fourth, administrative, or Madrid criterion, which implied that „the implementation of political, economic and legal reforms must be accompanied by the appropriate administrative structure“ which means nothing other than the obligation to adjust the entire administrative structure of the concerned country to European Union legislation. This fourth criterion, as a precondition for membership, essentially requests from the aspiring country to intensify efforts in the enabling of state administration for the hard work of applying the complete EU acquis.

 The term accession partnership is an operating concept and an instrument of strategy of bringing within which they locate countries that would gladly want to become an EU member, and provide them help with bringing in the EU. Accession partnership is also the official term for the strategy of bringing in the EU, under which is implied a framework for short-term and medium-term priorities, objectives and conditions for the accession negotiations. These priorities and objectives are formulated in accordance with the conclusion of the European Commission, on the basis of The Copenhagen criteria, and are applied to assist in bringing to the EU. With each country that is willing to join the European Union is, therefore, established such a partnership to assist her in the preparations. And every country develops its own national program of integration (NPI, or PI), as well as a plan to take over in possession of legal and other obligations and rights (NPAA), which do not represent more than a timetable for the implementation of this partnership. In addition, each candidate country for EU membership makes its action plan for capacity building in the judiciary and administration for a gigantic task in which it engages. The Accession Partnership may be upgraded and modified during implementation, if during the process of adjustment its new priorities are crystallized.

The strategy of bringing new members into the EU entails so called structured dialogue between it and the EU institutions, which determines the obligations of meeting the criteria, standards and measures in accordance with the estimated starting assumptions of each aspiring country. Basically, the process of bringing new members deals with an overall acceptance of the acquis communautaire, all basic contracts, amendments, the accession treaties and international agreements that the EU has concluded with other subjects of international law, as well as all the decisions, recommendations and guidelines adopted on the basis of the listed contracts.

By taking over the acquis it is becoming a new member and definitely part of the legal-political-economic-cultural environment, networked international treaties and high legal and state standards. Therefore the acceptance of the acquis for each new application form implies transformation into what the EU already is.

Accession negotiations are crucial for monitoring a particular country on its path towards the EU and for evaluating the state of its preparation. During these, the accession countries are evaluated by the EU in relation to efforts to meet the accession criteria. Through these negotiations are, in fact, candidate countries supported in their preparations to adapt and execute huge obligations arising from the EU membership. At the same time the European Union adjusts to receive a new member or members, which is supervised by the European Commission.

The procedure adoption of the acquis is divided into chapters, whose number was oriented toward the number of areas in which progressions in the negotiations had to be achieved. Progress in some area, is however, established through testing consistency of taking over the acquis into national legislation of the aspiring country in the process called screening. This is enhanced by a program for technical assistance and information exchange TAIEX (Eng. Technical Assistance and Information Exchange). Each chapter must be individually negotiated, while negotiators are using measurable or reference criteria for the opening and the conclusion of each chapter. Negotiations are being held within the framework of the so-called governmental conferences between the EU and each candidate. Results of negotiations by chapters are then shaped in the accession treaty.


In the first 6 months of the year 1999 the European Commission has drafted and proposed to the European Council the first well thought foreign policy strategy of long-term relations with the countries of South Eastern Europe, for those that had not yet been in any institutional co-relation with the EU. (for the countries of the former Yugoslavia, due to the war in them, implicitly had applied the strategy cordon sanitaire!) Then the decision on PSP- EU partnership with the countries of SEE was officially confirmed on the European Council Summit in Cologne from 03 to 04. 06. 1999. This strategy finally confirmed the readiness of the European Union to open up and increase the prospects and opportunities for SEE countries for full integration into EU structures. Therefore criteria established in Copenhagen and Madrid were also valid for the countries of SEE, as well as some additional. Afterwards, the Heads of State and Government of the EU (European Council) at their meeting in Santa Maria da Feira, 19 and 20. 06. 2000, once again sent a message to all SEE countries participating in the SAP that they were also potential candidates for EU membership, and that the important objective of the EU is a complete integration of Southeast Europe into the EU. The most important thing was that with the PSP strategy EU relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian, Macedonia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) were set on a completely clear basis – all these countries have the prospect of EU membership if they are able to meet the criteria and commitments obligations.

Speaking separately about BiH on its path towards the EU, there is no doubt, after certain initial success, BiH ended up in the internal blockages and suspended its way towards the EU itself. However, it expressed the desire to join the European Union since 1998, after which it received CTF roadmap with even 346 conditions to be met. In the mid 1998, a joint consultative working party composed of representatives of the EU and BiH was formed, whose task was to monitor and coordinate the activities of the authorities in meeting the guidelines of the CFT-roadmap. At first it appeared that BiH will also follow the footsteps of other countries in Southeast Europe on the path towards the EU. It especially seemed after Zagreb’s EU summit, in late 2000, when it was decided to bring in all countries-potential members of the EU through the stabilisation and association program, but depending on the individual efforts, and after the Copenhagen Criteria and the so-called Madrid Criteria preconditions were added such as cooperation with the Tribunal in The Hague, or the fulfilment of standards and criteria, as well as the monitoring of commitments. It seemed that BiH was not in a more complicated situation in relation to Serbia and Montenegro, indeed.

But, after an individual approach was strongly reaffirmed by the Thessaloniki agenda, precisely this approach has proven to be effective for some countries, and for the post-Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina it turned out to be a noose, and too demanding, because of irreconcilable ambitions of BiH political elites.

However, even in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first five years after The Thessaloniki Agenda progress was achieved, because through CTF roadmap and feasibility study it attained through negotiations 18.06.2008 the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. But it was a bright spot in relations between BiH and the EU, BiH could not move forward due to internal disputes. And it happened what had to happen, despite the fact that the SAA was meanwhile ratified by all EU member states, in BiH it has never entered into force at full capacity, so on the 01.07.2008. it entered into force only in the form of Transitional or Interim Agreement, with which the EU meet its commercial ambitions, but with which no one in BiH should be satisfied. SAA ultimately defines the priorities of reforms (economic, legislative and institutional) and monitoring and coordination.

Step by step:

  1. CTF roadmap
  2. Feasibility study
  3. SAA negotiations
  4. SAA closure/ temporary agreement
  5. Enforcing SAA
  6. Admission request
  7. Committee’s opinion (avis)
  8. Council’s decision of initiating negotiations
  9. Admission negotiations
  10. Signing the agreement about admission
  11. EU membership

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, therefore, instead of acceleration on the European path after the signing of the SAA, had occurred a total blockade of movement towards the European Union. From the scheme Step by step is obvious that without the SAA’s coming into force at full capacity there is no next step in the process of EU accession. Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular in 2012 and 2013/2014., has showed unwillingness and incapability to fulfil commitments under the SAA, so this partnership between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina, until further notice, exists just as a Temporary Agreement. The situation with the SAA is, in fact, alarming, if it is known that the so-called principle of conditionality is built into each of the SAA, including the SAA between the EU and BiH. In Article 129 of the SAA has been written, namely, that this Agreement is concluded for an indefinite period, but either party may terminate the agreement by notifying the other side, afterwards the agreement shall expire six months from the date of such notification. On the other hand, each party may suspend this Agreement, with immediate effect, if the other party does not respect one of the key elements of this agreement, such as obligations of BiH in terms of building the system of coordination and implementation of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

After the apparent deadlock on the BiH path towards the EU, the EU representatives and BiH authorities have adopted at a meeting in Brussels on 27 06th 2012, the so-called joint conclusions regarding the necessity to meet the remaining obligations of BiH in the process of EU accession. At this meeting the progress that BiH has made was welcomed – after years of fruitless controversy – the adoption of the Law on State Aid and the Law on the census, noting that it is necessary to ensure their full implementation. The European Commission, on this occasion, expressed the hope that BiH, as soon as possible, will be able to meet the remaining requirements for the entry into force of the SAA, as well as the remaining conditions for the submission of a credible application for EU membership. This was also followed by the total internal blockage of the supposed BiH’s political elites.

After local politicians demonstrated reluctance to reach a compromise, another unsuccessful mediation of senior officials of the European Commission followed during 2013, primarily Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Foreign and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton[5] and EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle.

The effect of their intervention was nonexistent, and the European Commission – after a series of futile meetings held in Sarajevo, Brussels, Budapest and Prague – withdrew itself from further mediation. The beginning of the 2014 was followed by another diplomatic offensive of several member states, including Croatia, where they sought a special status for BiH during the EU accession process, in order that the only tangible result was categorical credible application by implementing the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. More specifically, a shift in the space of uncertain constitutional reforms implementation decisions of the European Court in the Sejdic and Finci case does not mean giving up the obligations of BiH, but its implementation within the expected future constitutional reforms. Of course, neither from the new international conference on BiH, which is directly touched by Catherine Ashton nor from the „special process approach“ for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would provide a „special status of a candidate country,“ as it was conceived in her „non-paper“ Dr. Vesna Pusic[6], nothing has been achieved: an exceptional status for BiH of this kind cannot and will not exist, and building a system of coordination remains a sine qua non the EU accession process, the obligation without whose fulfilment BiH cannot get a candidate status. It is quite certain that BiH should not harbour such hopes or expectations even from the meeting in Berlin, 28. 08. 2014, which was announced by a German MFA Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier during a recent visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nobody, not even the Germans, can help Bosnia and Herzegovina, while it is not able to build internal consensus on the basis of looking itself as a multinational country!


Extremely complex and demanding process of voluntary accession of any country to the European Union implies, therefore, the political will to implement in it the basic adjustment to the EU acquis. Approach to the EU is possible only by completing standards, criteria and benchmarks, where no exceptions of strictly defined rules and procedures are foreseen. But, if they were, they would not be good for BiH, because only during the accession process it should become a fully sovereign and legal state, which BiH is not yet.

In the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is, unfortunately, the lack of political vision of the European destiny of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the lack of political will and insufficient qualification for the process of accession to the EU (and NATO). Consequently it is not understood how it should be about an enormously important task of civilization to adapt to a completely new constitutional and legal environment in the present constitutional order and value system of BiH.[7]

As regards to the European integration BiH de facto remains still until it has fulfilled the obligations under the Road Map, an important document adopted at a meeting in Brussels on 27 06th 2012. The Roadmap was in the first place a recorded obligation to achieve „political agreement in respect of a court decision on the Sejdic-Finci case“ in order to execute changes to the Constitution, and by the end of 2012. In the roadmap is, moreover,an agreed BiH’s fulfilment of obligations under the SAA / Temporary Agreement on the need to adapt to EU legislation in a uniform and coordinated manner throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. By the common conclusions of the meeting in Brussels was said that BiH’s Council of Ministers and the Government of the Federation, along with the cantons, Serbian Republic and the Brcko District should engage in a dialogue in order to agree on „the establishment of an effective coordination mechanism on EU matters, which will allow BiH to harmonize attitudes about European issues and thus speak with one voice „. In this respect, it is concluded that till 31.10.2012 a proposal of „ labour coordinating mechanism on EU matters“ must be presented. With these commitments in the Roadmap were associated obligations for improving and strengthening of functioning of the administration at all levels of government, so that BiH „could adopt, apply and enforce the laws and regulations of the EU“.

None of the obligations under the Road Map were realized, unfortunately, by the end of the time, so the deadline for fulfilment of the commitments was extended for six months, until spring of 2013, and then followed by a further intervention by the EU Commissioner, and then deadlock. Failure to fulfil obligations under the Road Map from 2012 should be added to the remaining obligations of „5 + 2 package of objectives and conditions“, which are a prerequisite for closing the Office of the High Representative (OHR). To tell the truth, relocation or closure of the OHR is not a prerequisite for submission of the so-called credible application for EU candidate status, but without the fulfilment of these obligations BiH cannot be treated as a sovereign country. [8]

Since the numerous warnings from Brussels generally remained without echo, the EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina had no other choice but to warn that „the necessary coordination structures are only partially implemented, with the lack of connection between politics and administration“. EU demands, however, an even fulfilment of obligations throughout the country. In RS, the most responsibilities are in the hands of the Government of the RS and in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in relation to the internal market, they are in the hands of entities and cantons. The EU Delegation considered, even, that „The Federation is unable to determine the areas of EU law for which it has jurisdiction“, and therefore is not capable of providing an even regularized procedure with regard to European integration. In addition, it would be necessary to strengthen the capacity for programming EU aid, recommended the EU Delegation to BiH.


In the so-called reports on the progress of BiH on its path towards the EU has been for years repeating the same results that testify of a deadlock on BiH’s path towards the EU. The Progress Report from 2011 stated „it lacks a common vision of the political representatives on the overall direction and future of the country and its institutional system“and that „for the EU accession process; political will and functional institutions are necessary at all levels, with effective coordination mechanism on issues related to the EU”. This implies building elements of coordination mechanism within the Federation, between the federal and cantonal authorities, which on these circumstances of inconsistent relations and permanent dispute between them seems an impossible mission. Relations between the cantonal and federal authorities are worsening for years, especially between federal authorities and the cantons of the majority Croatian inhabitants after illegal and illegitimate established ‘Platform’, that is the Government of the Federation of BiH, in 17.03.2011. As regards to the European integration, controversy culminated in violent, unconstitutional suspending of the cantonal authorities from the process of coordination and 18 shared responsibilities between the cantons and the Federation. By this the way Government of the Federation showed all the ugliness of its existence, while the system of coordination in construction was on a blind track.

To tell the truth, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the organizational-technical sense, something was undertaken with regards to the establishment of coordination mechanisms. Thus, for example, the third thematic session on European integration held on 19. 03. 2007, the Council of Ministers entrusted the Directorate for European Integration to begin the development of a Program of integration, and instructed all the institutions to take a more active role in the process of improving vertical and more horizontal coordination.

On 13. 03. 2008, the Council of Ministers adopted the methodology and timetable for drafting the program for the integration in order to in 19. 08. 2010 entrust the Directorate of Integration to conduct consultations with the relevant institutions at different levels of government in BiH regarding the design of the Programme for Integration. The Directorate was obliged to complete these activities by the beginning of 2011, and to start preparing PI in cooperation with relevant institutions at all levels of government. Professional preparation of DEI for making the Program of integration, unfortunately, thwarted political blockades.

Program integration, a strategic document which is still officially nonexistent, defines the measures, deadlines and responsibilities for individual processes and the entire process of EU accession. Program of Integration is not, in fact, more than a basic guide for all levels of management and planner of harmonization of national legislation with EU legislation. Preparing and implementing the PI would, moreover, very effectively put a point on numerous political disputes about jurisdiction between the entity and state level, as well as federal and cantonal level, given that the tasks and responsibilities were clearly defined and assigned to the institutions and bodies of all the levels of government. Unfortunately, PI cannot be accomplished without the execution of key obligation in the Roadmap, without a common vision and coordination systems, as well as the fulfilment of the remaining obligations under the SAA. Only after meeting the obligations BiH may submit a so-called credible application for EU membership, and start with the creation of preconditions for giving proficient answers to questions from demanding questionnaire to obtain a positive opinion of the EC (Avis, pronounced „avi“). And even today it would be wise and rational to begin preparations for the formation of 33 task forces analogous to chapters of the acquis (two chapters of the acquis are not open for discussion). Because, ultimately, this is nothing other than the Europeanization of national policies during the implementation of the acquis. It is no coincidence that BiH is the only country in the region that has no program of integration (PI), or the National Programme for Integration (NPI), which has the consequence that there is no program for adopting acquis (NPAA).This was desired by the anti-European elites in BiH.  And yet, they should realize at least these days that without a shared vision there is no credible application for EU candidate status in relations with the EU. It should be also clear to them that the genuine applications implies NPI, and then acquiring the candidate status and the NPAA, and developed strategies and tactics designed to fulfil the obligations of the partnership between BiH and the EU, with specific holders of certain jobs and deadlines.

A shared vision of the whole Bosnia and Herzegovina implies, therefore, an awareness of their own polymorphemic national composition and the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the European Union, which could solve their national and state political issues that now seem unsolvable. It would be possible on the basis of proven logic, principles and methods on which the EU is underlined: the logic of the four freedoms, open society and living alterity, trans-nationalization and integration of split or conferred sovereignty, and methods of management of ethnic differences, respecting the principle of subsidiarity, regionalization, federalization and multilevel governance.

But in order for BiH to get a chance to experience civilisational superiority of these methods from the arsenal paradigm of non-violence, it would have to leave behind the logic and policy of „fait accompli“, imposing and competing, and start to learn and practice the consensual political culture. In our case it is not an abstraction, but rather is based on the harmonization and coordination between all levels of government, and therefore the institutions and bodies of the RS and the Federation, and within the Federation between the federal and cantonal / county authorities.

Consensual culture implies the necessity of a thorough transformation during the process of accessing the EU, in order to not remain for all time a deep pre- political province. That’s why we have to admit, primary, that we are the last passenger carload in Western Balkan’s train to Brussels, which is threatened to be detached and left on a blind track, so we should begin to observe our next-door neighbours, at least. Not to mention the Republic of Croatia, because from 01 July 2013, it is a full member of the EU, but we cannot skip the Republic of Serbia, as its National Program for Integration (NPI) has been developed four years before the filing of a formal request for EU candidacy, which is in the meantime received. With this, Serbia wanted to show that it has a „very good administrative capacity“, said the official portal of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.  It should be mentioned, that „NPI is a precise plan on how to meet all the criteria necessary to become an EU member state, from political and economic, to detailed standards applied in the Union in the areas of trade, agriculture, environmental protection, infrastructure … „ Autistic elites in BiH should be instructed by the accomplishments of tiny Montenegro, which two years ago received a date for starting accession negotiations with the EU. And Montenegro, like Serbia, five years earlier developed her first NPI for the period 2008-2012, in which the 550 page specified activity carriers, as well as time limits for meeting the accession commitments.

BiH would, therefore, have to go in an „overdrive“, to compensate losing a whole adaptive cycle and to turn its half-frozen partnership with the EU into active, so that SAA came into force at full capacity. The big question is, will it be able to do so after the general elections of 2014, whether the newly elected authorities will be much different with regard to the fulfilment of the remaining obligations under the SAA (the Road Map), including the need to develop mechanisms and coordination systems, and then submitting the so-called  credible application and development of the Program Integration (PI) and the Program of the „acquis“ (NPAA)? Remember, after all, that the Bosnian member of the BiH Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic announced a credible application by the end of 2011, and that it was the current president of the Council of Ministers Vjekoslav Bevanda, announced it by the end of half semester of 2012, without the NPI, of course. Other politicians in BiH, as well, remained only on words for the EU, only for EU-ization, that is- a formal connection with the EU, but not for Europeanization, because it implies a deep transformation and a legal state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


As stated above, by now it should be clear that without a well thought and a joint approach towards the EU, no one in the EU will take seriously anyone from BiH. With a joint approach and complete supporting documents it should precisely define the measures, deadlines and responsibilities for individual actions and the whole process of EU accession. The integration program is nothing but a fundamental guide for all levels of management and planner of harmonization of national legislation with EU legislation. Preparing and implementing the PI would, moreover, very effectively put a full stop on numerous political controversies about the competencies between the entities and the state level, considering that the tasks and responsibilities were clearly assigned to the institutions and bodies at different levels of government. It is also similar in relations between the federal and cantonal authorities.

Therefore, for now the most important thing would be to start a series of preparatory activities that imply a credible application for EU candidate status. And it implies the basic design of the Programme of integration, which would be installed and the mechanism of political coordination, preparing for the acquis (NPAA), in addition with the preparations for the implementation of a number of questionnaires EC, how the EU could bring avis on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application. Parallel to that, therefore, it should initiate the formation of the 33 or 35 working groups (analogous to the chapters of the acquis). Such groups exist in the countries in the region that are in a similar situation as BiH. Their extreme importance is obvious if we point out that just because of their activities synchronized harmonization of national legislation with EU legislation is performed. These working groups are making, among else, the answers for the avis, and taking part in negotiations in the analysis of the negotiations track with the EU. They will be extremely difficult to establish, because BiH has a lot of false experts on the EU, and very few serious scientists, journalists and analysts who responsibly reflect the EU and BiH’s future in it.

Otherwise, according to the Council of Ministers, Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Director of The Department for European Integration is responsible for coordination, ensuring cooperation and harmonization of policies and activities of the entities, i.e. those relating to the Euro-integration. In the meantime coordination bodies are established both on entity and cantonal levels, which usually consist of individuals in the office of Prime Minister, or „secretaries of government“, but the coordination system did not become operational. It is estimated in Brussels that the current legislative framework is a good basis for further development and improvement of coordination in BiH with the EU, but they are astonished by the indolence of politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina who are the reason why BiH has not accomplished what neighbouring countries did.[9]

It is stated in the form of summary, BiH cannot join the European Union if people in it are not ready to follow its basic principles and do not want to prepare themselves for what is waiting in the EU. This demanding adaptive process implies that the process of making a certain attitude or a policy takes into account the plurality and the cacophony of voices, in the awareness that according to the outer world, and according to Brussels, it must unconditionally in the end to be moulded into a single voice, a cacophony of opinions transformed into one symphony. Without such outward performance, Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot be treated as a normal country. After all, the EU has concluded an SAA with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and therefore policy-making, decision-making, design and implementation of the law must take place in a synchronized and coordinated way. In the country, however, the entities and the cantons mustn’t be ignored, nor the special status of the Brcko District regarding the responsibilities that these levels of organization have in accordance with their constitutional and legal position. Accordingly it’s about time to create mentioned strategic documents and to coordinate and synchronize the process of accession to the European Union. Prior to its accession to the EU will be, of course, necessary to adopt a new social contract, a new constitution of the country, but that is another topic.


The strategy of bringing any European country in the European Union is based on: bilateral agreements, the accession partnership and the national programs for the adopting „acquis communautaire“, and then on cooperation in the agencies and in the committees of the EU, political dialogue, assessments of the European Commission (monitoring), as well as the modes of financial support-help in bringing. The most famous instrument in the strategy of bringing was an assistance program called „Phare“, which facilitates the adaptation process of EU accession countries from 1989 to 2006 provided that the „Phare“ in 2000 was expanded with the ISPA (environmental and transport) and SAPARD (agriculture) and others. But, „Phare“is history, because from the 2006 the current programs of bringing in the EU (PHARE, PHARE CBC, ISPA, SAPARD, CARDS) integrated into a new instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance.

IPA is, de facto and de iure, as a single financial instrument of the European Union established in mid-2006 by the EU Council Regulation No 1085/2006., so that it would then be incorporated into the Medium-term budget or financial perspective of the EU in the period 2007- 2013, and to assist countries in their efforts to become EU members.

In the mentioned regulation of creating a new, unique instrument for the pre-accession assistance was said that in this way country candidates and potential candidates will be made available circa 11.5 billion in aid in the following medium period. IPA, therefore, is financial instrument of assistance to candidate countries and potential candidate countries: Croatia, Macedonia, Turkey, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and what is considered Kosovo in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1244/99. The objectives of IPA are direct financial assistance to the beneficiary countries during the harmonization of national legislation with the EU acquis, and support to countries’ preparations for the use of structural and cohesion funds of the European Union.

Before the current transformation of the IPA instrument, the original IPA was composed of five components, where the first two were equipped with relatively modest amounts and were intended to potential and actual candidates, while the third, fourth and fifth IPA components were equipped with billions of amounts and were intended only to countries with the status of official candidate for EU membership. Meanwhile, this was modified by the so-called IPA II model, whose essence was that all the funds from the IPA funds can be used by potential candidate countries, if they are skilled. BiH, unfortunately, isn’t. The first IPA component („Transition Assistance and Institution Building“) included all activities that are directly or indirectly connected with the acquis communautaire, building administrative capacity, with support cooperation measures not covered by other components. Otherwise, project proposals within the first IPA component are prepared on the basis of the priorities of the Multi-annual Indicative Planning Document (MIPD) and are applicable on the basis of established procedures of the European Commission. The users of these components are, otherwise, government bodies, bodies in the public domain, and to a lesser extent non-governmental organizations and other non-profit entities. The use of these resources is planned in accordance with the three well-known Copenhagen criteria (1993), which are incorporated in the strategy „European partnership“and of bringing new EU member states, so that the political criteria is supported by 25 to 30% of all assistance, economic criteria with 25 to 30%, while the European standards are supported with 40- 50% of the total amount for a country on the basis of this IPA component. Through other IPA components (CBC) activities related to regional and cross-border cooperation with the beneficiary countries of the IPA are supported, as well as participation in programs of the European Regional Development Fund, in addition to transnational and interregional cooperation programs. In implementing these programs, the most important role is played by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC, led by former MFA FR Yugoslavia Goran Svilanovic), which approves and supervises the implementation of activities in the multi-annual cross-border programs. Of course, cross-border cooperation takes place primarily through calls for project proposals, and users of these IPA components can be regional and local administrations, non-governmental organizations, research and development institutions, chambers of commerce and so on.

To illustrate, under this component, Bosnia and Herzegovina participates in three bilateral programs with three neighbouring countries: Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia, as well as in one program of cross border cooperation with the Member States – IPA Adriatic, and two transnational programs – South East Europe (SEES) and Mediterranean transnational program (MED). It is important also to mention that in the financing of other IPA component is implied so called co-financing of beneficiary country amounting to 25% of the project value. The structure of the coordination and management of the program of another IPA component are: The National IPA Coordinator (NIPAC), Project Preparation Committee (PPC) and Programme Management Committee (PMC). Here should be illustrated what the absence of coordination and inability to speak with one voice in BiH means, precisely by disputes of entity politicians about the withdrawal of already approved funds in Brussels on the basis of the first IPA component in the amount of EUR 45 million, which were eventually redistributed in other regional countries, among else, five million Euros for the development of agriculture, because BiH politicians could not agree on one paying agency and one governing body, and the strategy of rural development at the national level was not designed. Unfortunately, Bosnia and Herzegovina with the current status in its relations with the EU is in the context of having the rights to assistance through the two first components in the period from 2007 to 2010 ensured and withdrew only a part of the amount of 332 million euro grant. By the end of 2012 Bosnia and Herzegovina had at its disposal a total of 488.2 million Euros and by the end of 2013, circa 600 million Euros, and this is only partly used. The fact that testifies about the inability of political elites and their expert services in unfit cantonal, entity and state institutions is that so far BiH used only 30% of EU assistance through the IPA funds. The inability is also the reason for so little withdrawal of possible resources and redirection of mentioned several millions of non refundable money. No one else is to blame than the political elites, because they did not fulfil their promise, no matter how much of that money ended up for development projects that BiH needed as thirsty land needs water.

The EU Delegation in BiH recently re-sent a message that they will not turn a blind eye for politicians, because the IPA 2 project must find solutions through coordination of management of IPA funds. Concerning this, the head of the EU Delegation in BiH, Peter Sorensen said: „First, the state should develop an effective EU coordination mechanism to be able to manage the assistance and political coordination. We cannot have a situation in which today an agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina has been made, and the day after it had been cancelled. You are the only country that has ever done it. Then, the country must organize strategies concerning the whole country, especially in sectors such as agriculture, energy, transport and environment to allow EU investors to support the business, the economy and, in general, a better standard of living. You owe this to citizens, you owe this to us.”[10] In the Medium-Term Budget for 2014-2020., The EU for the Western Balkans has predicted 14 billion Euros. Within the utilization plans the EC plans a specific revision, or reconfiguration of existing terms of use, including the all-new instrument for pre-accession help called IPA II. Already in the proposed new regulation is, namely, abolished the division of the previous five components, and have been introduced the policy areas within which various interventions will be implemented. The most important innovation is that the financial assistance will be available in all areas of policy, regardless of whether the country has  got the status of a candidate or potential candidate. Policy areas under the new EU regulations are divided into: a) The process of transition towards membership and capacity building (former IPA Component I – Transition Assistance and Institution Building); b) Regional Development (former IPA Component III – Regional Development); c) Employment, Social Policy and Human Resources Development (former IPA Component IV – Human Resources Development); d) Agriculture and Rural Development (former IPA Component V – Agriculture and rural development); e) regional and territorial cooperation (former IPA Component II – Cross-border cooperation).[11]


Bosnia and Herzegovina is facing re-traditionalization which aims at maintaining the parallel worlds with the help of rivalling culture at the cost of stopping the movement of the country towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Therefore, it is needed to deconstruct inadequate academic narratives and policies, whether their charge and content is separatist or so called patriotic-unitarian, centralist. This is why it is necessary to recall what is recommended to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the EP Resolution of 06. 02. 2014 on the occasion of reports on the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2013. In this resolution, the European Parliament welcomes, among other things, „the six-point agreement reached in Brussels on 1 October 2013“, but regrets that „centralist forces obstructed its implementation“, and emphasizes that „it is important to follow the principles of federalism and legitimate representation to ensure the path of BiH in the EU. „In these six points the most important are the unmet obligations: a) development of a system of coordination, in order to speak with the world with one voice, including the EU, b) implementation of decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Sejdic and Finci.[12]

It was followed by domestic spinning from the spin masters with the pretext of searching a new approach to the European Union BiH, who sidelined the commitment to respect the principles of federalization / cantonization, no matter how much it was of crucial importance for the whole country. Thereby it was definitely confirmed that there was no serious quest for the overcoming of the frozen conflict in BiH. And it will remain so until BiH avoids public discourse about the compromise or consociational political culture. This approach does not question the value of the so-called democracy by a majority, but it is desired to explicitly draw attention that the equality of citizens of minor national and ethnic groups is called into question if the society with formed collective differences is unaware of group identities and group differences and does not allow for a balance between the methods of majority and representative democracy. Societies aware of their division would have to, therefore, apply the existing instruments for the protection of the identity and at the same time to seek more sophisticated protections through the so-called institutional equality, which implies parity, veto, vital interest, and others. Otherwise, if the so-called consociational situations do not provide protection and basic personal and group rights, imposing the values of the majority ethnic / national communities to a minority community cannot be avoided. In this case, methods of forced assimilation or violent integration are in action, which are despised at least with the transition into the new millennium, if not even discarded everywhere, as overcome methods of the old paradigm or paradigm of violence.

In the (post) modern world new paradigms want nothing else than to attempt the life of a multitude of identities, to which it is reached, or will be reached through the political culture of recognition of cultural pluralism, i.e. the management of ethnic / national plurality.

 Hence a great caution is imposed when justified deconstructions of neo-liberal phenomenon within the EU equalled policies occur, or questioning the very foundations and basic concepts within the EU, including the questioning of the negative side effects during the EU accession process. In no case should EU be brought into question as a peace project, or its organization being based on the principles of subsidiarity, solidarity and harmonization. Simply for the reason that such a mechanism has never been in the history of any other union of states, or as the EU with all its faults is a sui generis creation, in which occur processes of so called transnational pulsations, interaction and socialization, a new paradigm of non-violence and mutual respect.

With this kind of perception, it is necessary to distinguish between the processes of Europeanization, that is systematic adjustment of potential members of the EU, from the process of EU-ization, the formal inclusion in the EU convergence process, often misused in transition countries by their political and cultural elite.


BiH is still in its pre-political, or „Ottoman stage“(Urs Altermatt), regarding the awareness of the necessity of European self-reflection and constructing a functioning state. In it, thoughts and acts mainly in the categories of pre-political community and in the direction of an idea and practice of the political community may be possibly reached painstakingly and with great efforts. Much-needed consolidation cannot be achieved at this time neither with those who are finalizing the ethnocratic revolution, so I can imagine BiH only as a simple sum of three nation states, but nor with those who advocate a civil BiH and at the same time do not have the ability and willingness to admit multi-ethnic composition of BiH as its permanent option and quality. Thus, both of the dominant narratives disable the quest for a new paradigm and social agreement on BiH which would rest on the abandonment of naked or legal-political violence, the respect of all identities, as constituent peoples and national minorities and so-called new identity on the basis of guaranteed rights for individual-citizen and collectivities.

On the other hand, Bosnia and Herzegovina craves for political, economic and cultural consolidation, for consensus political culture, which does not want to be aware of its political and cultural elite, because they are not able to cope with this challenge. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, namely, operates the so-called consociational ideal situation, but it requires the responsible consociational response, which is missing, because all pseudo-elites in BiH are suited by irresponsible, brotherhood policy, which is at least by political science reasonably called negligence-consociation. Responsible consociation implies, namely, the agreement on the conservation of the country and agreement on methods how to achieve it, and then the solid coalition agreement and adherence to agreed, while the negligence of consociation is all the opposite of that, and even includes a change of partners and principles as necessary. Therefore, people in BiH do not want to know that in unstable situations in some European societies, their political elites resorted to solutions from the set of management of national (ethnic) and regional differences and that afterwards the phase of instability sailed towards the stages of stability. Of course, consociational methods are less ignorant towards others and smaller identities compared to the methods of imposing the will of the majority to smaller nations and ethnicities, and generally are being more democratic method than forced assimilation.

BiH is, unfortunately, the country of „entrapped minded“, pre-political, tribal, deeply divided society. In Bosnia and Herzegovina operates „multi-side single partism“ as stated Dr. Zarko Papic, and so supplementing my arguments about „democrature“ and „negligence consociation“. After all, this is worth recalling what Arendt Lijphart argues. According to him, for many „plural societies of non-Western world, the choice does not lie between Anglo-American normative model of democracy and consociational model, but it is between consociational and no democracy.“ Lijphart differentiates, however, the idea and the model of democracy of majority and the consensus democracy. According to him, it is difficult but not impossible to achieve and maintain a stable democracy and pluralism in divided societies. Political culture in one country can be homogeneous or fragmented, and the relationships among elites conflicted, competitive or cooperative.

Therefore Lijphart draws three types of political systems i.e. three types political cultures: a) the centripetal (orientation towards the centre); b) centrifugal (moving away from the centre); c) consensual political culture. „The question of whether democracy with a fragmented political culture will be stable or unstable depends ultimately from the responds of elites to potential or current instability of the system,“ claims Lijphart.

 In order to consociational democracy systems to function in a stable and efficient manner is necessary, therefore, that the leaders of rival political subculture support the following types of behaviour; First, political leaders must be aware that deep gaps lead to the destabilization of the system; Secondly, the political leaders should have confidence in the existing system of political institutions; Third, political leaders must be able to establish the institutional basis fot the rules of the political game for accommodating sub-cultural differences. From all these assumptions BiH is infinitely distant, and therefore a quick solution of national issues in BiH cannot be expected. Outside EU accession project BiH can neither solve the state issues nor the national issues. Therefore, the EU is for BiH, simultaneously, a new paradigm and a very concrete straw of salvation.[13]

There remains a problem because even the responsible consociational democracy implies a common vision, agreement and the ambition of preserving the land in its borders and the capacity and orientation towards creating a pluralistic, political and willing community. BH pseudo-elites know, in fact, only the competing culture or the one of majorization and distracting citizens by spreading an illusion of BiH as a mono-ethnic country, or evoking its dissolution. BiH is, therefore, a multinational community in the pre- political age and it urgently needs consociational consolidation so it could from its pre politic slumber move towards its European future. After all, it is necessary to see the EU as the used consociational chance over the past decades of organic fusion, without erasing the national, linguistic, cultural or any identity. In the form of a recommendation or conclusion, I will repeat the most important: despite all reasonable doubts in a project called the European Union, or its imperfections and neoliberal selfishness, which is necessary to deconstruct and to question, the EU is the most paradigmatic challenge, if not entirely new civilization environment. It is necessary to adapt to it in order to become a part of this exceptional team of specific rules and values.

Of course, for our own sake. For this adjustment and accession it is necessary to sacrifice our own selfishness, or all of our sacred egoism, and finally build a common vision and incorporate it in the system of coordinating institutions, in order to speak with one voice to the outer world, on behalf of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the most normal thing in the world. And once again, no matter how many people will not appeal to it, despite the fact that Dayton internal structure of the BiH is externally imposed, and in many ways problematic, and there is no other to accept it, in order to put forth the necessary mutual recognition.

Because only after such a confession, the possibility of building a common institution in the system of coordination would increase, in order to speak with one voice with the EU and with the whole world. After all, without that our country remains a semi-protectorate and will not be able become a member of the European Union. Solutions for open national and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s state issue are, obviously, in the ideas and practices’ of overall trans-nationalization modelled on the processes taking place within the European Union. EU in its essence, however, is nothing other than a successful consociational idea realized in the function of harmonization, mutual solidarity and peace. That is why today the EU should become a guide and our salvation coast, potential topos of resolving all opened national and state political issues. In doing so, we should not forget that the EU is a project of peace and that the inside of it operates on the preservation of identity, and their intercultural encounter and permeation.

In the EU, indeed, one can easily fall in love if you have knowledge, and in addition heart and mind, open to the sensibilities which imply a paradigm of non-violence, mutual respect and intercultural encounters. After all, only in this way Bosnia and Herzegovina could overcome the authoritarian culture, and forever be detached from the separatist and unitary conception, and accordingly all the citizens of all BiH peoples and ethnic minorities would begin to return to the idea of sustainable and shared equal community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The European country of Bosnia and Herzegovina – on the basis of respect for these principles, with the functioning of legal state and guarantee for the protection of human rights, including the rights of peoples and national minorities – all the national issues and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s state-political issue could be resolved![14]

Mostar, December 15th,  2014


[1] I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Paneuropean Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the President of the organization Mr. Vanja Gavran, for helping me in translation of this text in English.

[2] The mentioned quotes from the diary of the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the weekly Die Zeit, in my translation, were used for the essay Euphoria and fears of enlargement…, published in the Belgrade newspaper Today (Weekend, 05/2004.).

[3] See, Council establishes the European External Action Service, Press release Brussels, 26 July 2010, In this publication was told that the Council of the EU General Affairs adopted a decision on the establishment, organization and operation of the European External Action Service, and the so-called. European Diplomacy from 01. 01. 2011 became a reality, although it is still accompanied by slender-  “the shell without content”.

[4] The Western Balkans is the terminus tehnicus, a technical term from the Thessaloniki Agenda, the document from the EU summit in Thessaloniki in 2003, under which it was thought on the all post-Yugoslav countries, minus Slovenia plus Albania in the process of bringing the EU through the prescribed procedures and criteria, benchmarks and standards. In the Thessaloniki Agenda was incorporated: a) the principle of conditionality in all instruments of bringing to the EU, and b) an individual approach, ie. The progression through meeting the criteria, according to competence and merit. Potential candidate countries are moving towards the EU, depending on the readiness of in-depth transformation in the form of the regatta and not a convoy.

[5] On the occasion of the eruption of social and political discontent in BiH in the first months of 2014, Baroness C. Ashton in her statement told the following: “Our goal should be to ensure a functional state, which will eventually become an EU member. Therefore, we have to solve the problems at the core. BiH is not only the Sejdic-Finci case, nor the mechanism of European coordination and implementation of the SAA. These changes alone will not be sufficient to create a functional state. We all know that the Dayton Agreement ended the war, but did not enable a functional state. So I believe that the EU must initiate and conduct an appropriate process, with the support of its international partners. This process should be well prepared, immediate and most importantly well implemented. The ultimate goal of this process should be extensive constitutional reform. It is most likely that it will need another international conference, because this country is unlikely to be able to disentangle itself the Dayton node. Anyways, it is crucial that the new constitution, if people accept it, doesn’t be imposed from the outside. Meanwhile, BiH must be enabled to move through the EU … Throughout this process, the EU must act as someone who helps rather than as someone who makes decisions … When it comes to convincing efforts then the SAA shall be carried out. We should not seek neither more nor less. When SSP is implemented, BiH should be able to submit an application for EU membership. Before accession to the EU, a country must be modern and functional.

[6] In the non-paper of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatian was said: “The European Commission should play a leading role in the creation of a special process approach that would guarantee BiH a special status of candidate country. It is special because of the particular circumstances and challenges that must be overcome in the field, as well as for special contents that Europe offers. Enabling a special candidate status for BiH would give greater security to the citizens of the future EU membership, which would in turn give citizens a reason for more efficient pressure on political leaders. It would also increase the efficiency of the European communication strategy in BiH, which are essential for this process. Practically, this patronizing process could consist of two phases: pre-accession and accession phase. Special pre-accession phase, which would precede the definition of the Negotiating Framework, would be some form of special pre-recording or inventory of constitutional and individual administrative systems in BiH, with the aim of defining tasks in creating a common central institutions that are crucial for an efficient process approach under the leadership of the European Commission.It could involve establishing communication between BiH and the European Commission. Issues such as; possible constitutional challenges, the electoral law and the implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in the Sejdic-Finci case, which are usually solved in Chapters 23 and 24 could be part of a broader process that would clearly lead to eventual membership in the EU.

[7] Bosnia and Herzegovina after the parliamentary elections of 03 10th 2010 was definitely stuck not only in respect towards Europe, but also in Euro-Atlantic integration, both unwilling and unable to fulfill the obligations under the SAA and obligations leading to activation of conditional obtained Membership Action Plan NATO (the Membership Action Plan, MAP), in Tallinn in 2010. This is why BiH is in a blind alley in relations with NATO despite the pronounced political will of NATO structures to receive it in their ranks. And so it will be until BiH is able to activate the conditional obtained MAP, until it enables starting the realization of the first annual national program (Annual National Programme, ANP). As regards to the accession to NATO, in front of  BiH remains a prerequisite for all conditions of registrations so-called 63 perspective military locations at the Ministry of Defence, so as to begin with the realization of many years of adaptive ANP plans (Croatia needed seven before it became a member of NATO).

[8] In this communiqué PIC (PIC SB Political Directors, 25.06.2008.) on the occasion of the signing of the SAA between BiH and the EU was pointed that it was only the first of the package “two conditions and five objectives” for transition of OHR into the Office of the Special Representative of the EU. With regard to the five objectives PIC Steering Board specified: the first goal – acceptable and sustainable resolution of the division of property between State and other levels of government;the second goal – Acceptable and sustainable resolution of defense property: the third goal – full implementation of Final Arbitral Desicion for Brcko: the fourth goal – Fiscal Sustainability (The authorities concerned shall put an end to the adoption of the Law on the National Fiscal Council and enable their development);the fifth goal – strengthening the rule of law …

[9] BiH’s legal framework of coordination of the integration process are: the Law on the Council of Ministers; Law on Ministries and administrative bodies; The Law on Administration of BiH (cooperation, information and consultation); The decision on the procedure; Decision on the coordination of the European integration process; Decision on instruments for harmonization of BiH legislation with the EU acquis; The decision to establish the Commission for European Integration within the Interim Committee; The decision to establish working groups for European Integration within the subcommittee.

[10] To see, if BiH is able to take money from the IPA funds, Radio Free Europe, 14. 06. 2014.

[11] Already in the draft regulation for IPA II was emphasized that progress in achieving certain objectives will be assessed through indicators and, depending on the progress made, reallocation of financial support from the program will be made as well as between Member States. All concerning the IPA II can be seen in details: At this link you can be more fully informed about the document of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 13. 12. 2012 (official number 04A-06-NS-1922/12) …

[12] European Parliament resolution of 6 2.2014. about the report on the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2013, 2013/2884 (RSP).

[13] Lijphart, A., Democracy in plurar societies“, Školska knjiga i Globus, Zagreb, 1992., page. 236.

[14] Mini study of Europan integration professor, PhD Mile Lasic “The causes and consequences of the abyss on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s path towards the European Union” has been written on request of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was promoted in in Banja Luka, 2nd October 2014., during the Political Academy of the Independent University of Banja Luka, Students’ Democracy Center and Friedrich Ebert Foundation.