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Meanwhile, what is happening in Bosnia?

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Fri 16 Feb, 2007 08:35 pm
The answer is: nothing - literally nothing.

The last High Representative of the international community, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, vowed to test whether the local authorities were ready to go it alone, ISN Security Watch writes. The result was that during his one-year mandate, not a single law was passed in Bosnia. Bosnia hasn't passed a single reform law for at least a year, and this year, there simply is no government to pass any laws. Over four months after general elections, the government and parliament of one of the country's two constituent parts, the Bosniak- and Croat-populated Federation, have still not been formed.

The only comfort of sorts for the international community - and for those Bosnians who had hoped for a functioning, pluralist democracy - is that this time at least it's not the nationalist parties of the Bosniak, Croat and Serb camps that are battling it out with each other. Instead, the power struggles that are laming the country this time take place within the respective nationalist camps, with minor, new Croat and Bosniak parties fighting with the larger, established ones over positions.

What can we expect when the parties do come to an agreement? A wave of corruption, ISN suggests. The real fight is over the ministries that offer the greatest opportunities for illicit personal gain. In this fiscal year, the state-owned multi-million-dollar telecommunications companies are slated to be privatized, as are the electric companies and at least 10 other state-owned enterprises - and everyone wants in on the deal.

To pave the way, the court that convicted the leader of the main Bosnian Croat party HDZ, Dragan Covic, to five years in prison for involvement in organized crime and abuse of power while he served as federal finance minister and deputy prime minister, quickly changed its mind about refusing him bail. His friends promptly paid up the $1.9 million, and now Covic's party is set to name the next justice minister. It is widely expected that the appointee will see to it that Covic's conviction is thrown out.

Read the full article: Bosnia: The great political farce
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Feb, 2007 09:53 pm
Yuck. (Not that I don't understand what force corruption has.)
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Sep, 2007 10:33 am
By ways of update, this from last April:

Quote:
Comment: Time to Stop Dithering in Bosnia

2007-04-26
BIRN Balkan Insight

Summary:

Quote:
Under the unsure hand of the outgoing international High Representative Schwarz-Schilling, Bosnia and Herzegovina slid backwards from meeting the requirements for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU. On police reform, positions have moved further apart. On constitutional reform, differences have hardened since a year ago.

Now the decision has been made to extend the Office of the High Representative (OHR) for one further year, what can be expected? Western diplomats do not expect a return to the interventionism of Schwarz-Schilling's predecessors.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Sep, 2007 10:34 am
And this from this month:


Summary:

Quote:
A culture of corruption, rampant waste and poor accounting condemn Bosnia to life in the economic slow lane. A major source is Bosnia's top-heavy government and over-extensive bureaucracy. The executive at state level comprises around 50 institutions and has a budget that in 2006 was up 64% in a year.

More money is said to be spent on the institutions of government themselves than on the social and economic programmes they run; about 65% of the state budget goes on official salaries, which are high by Bosnian standards. Some staff in state institutions are employed without contracts and in jobs that no one had accounted for.

A large amount of state money also disappears on various state commissions, of which about 70 were set up last year alone. One commission ran up a bill of 150,000 euros last year even though its activities amounted to no more than five meetings.

Moreover, millions are said to be embezzled in the public sector. Public procurement is one of the main sources of semi-legal or illicit revenue for civil servants and officials, says Transparency International.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Sep, 2007 07:43 am
An upbeat note from last month:

Quote:
Bosnia: Finally, movement

ISN Security Watch
16/08/07

Summary:

Quote:
Just a couple of weeks into his mandate, Bosnia's new international envoy Miroslav Lajcak is winning praise from the international community, as he gets creative and forces Bosnian Serb and Muslim nationalist authorities to take responsibility.

He suspended 36 Bosnian Serb police officers and ordered the Bosnian Serb authorities to investigate members of their own police force, while ordering the Bosniak state security minister to begin deporting Muslim mujahideens whose citizenships have been revoked - and sign the orders to do so himself. In the past, the respective authorities preferred to allow the international envoy to make such unpopular decisions for them, ensuring that their voters would blame Western powers rather than them.

Lajcak's predecessor Christian Schwarz-Schilling, originally scheduled to be the last high representative, decided to hand over major decision-making power to the Bosnian authorities, but that led to a year and a half of political deadlock and a reinvigoration of nationalist rhetoric. On the other hand, the previous envoy Paddy Ashdown was criticised for wielding too much power: most progress was made during his mandate, but only with a great deal of arm-twisting.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Oct, 2007 01:47 pm
Followed, inevitably, by some downbeat ones..

On the day-to-day level, on the level of children going to school and students going to university, there is just depressing stagnation when it comes to interethnic relations.

To blame: hardened local community enmities, and obstruction by the ethnic-based political powers that be.


Summary:

Quote:
In Tomislavgrad, Herzegovina, Croat first-grade pupils have had to quit school since their parents do not allow them to attend classes together with Bosniak pupils. It's no isolated incident; 54 schools in the Bosnian Federation are split into two sections, so that Croat teachers and pupils function are segregated from their Bosniak companions.


____________________________________________________________



Summary:

Quote:
A new Education Law brings international recognition for Bosnian university degrees, but it's criticized for both jeopardizing ethnic rights and not going far enough.

Bosnian Croats want to axe the "unconstitutional" law, while students say it just cements the disunity within higher education. But the international community welcomed the law as a breakthrough after a three-year deadlock.

After the war, higher education was left to be regulated by entity laws, and within the [Bosniak-Croat] Federation, responsibility was devolved to each of the 10 cantons. Now, Bosnia has eight publicly-funded and at least five private universities compared to only one in 1992, but their education is expensive, ineffective and internationally-unrecognized.

The law took over a year of arguments to be made, but says education expert Lamija Tanovic, the law finally adopted is worse than any of the previous 15 drafts.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2007 08:03 pm
Quote:

Summary:

Quote:
The EU and Bosnia have initialled a pre-membership agreement, starting a process that could lead to the country joining the EU.

The ceremony went ahead after a deal on Bosnian police reform that met the EU condition that Bosnia's ethnically divided police forces be merged.

Last week, Serb, Muslim and Croat leaders averted a constitutional crisis after agreeing on new voting rules to strengthen the central government.
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2007 03:04 pm
I presume it is a technical fault.
This subject is highlighted as Featured one with the same author's name.

Just look above.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2007 04:32 pm
Ramafuchs wrote:
I presume it is a technical fault.
This subject is highlighted as Featured one with the same author's name.

Just look above.

I've started another thread called "Meanwhile, what is happening in Kosovo?" - do you mean that one?
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2007 05:35 pm
nimh
I am sorry.
I regret for my callous comment
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2007 05:54 pm
Hey, dont worry! Nothing callous about it!
0 Replies
 
 

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