22 Nov 2010

The Bosnian Hiatus: A Story of Misinterpretations

Goran Tirak

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After seven years of debate, the decision to close the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina (OHR), an international body overseeing the peace implementation in Bosnia, has not yet been implemented. Bosnia is a potential EU candidate, but the majority of member states do not consider Bosnia capable of negotiating membership with the Union while the OHR remains the supreme authority governing the country. However, there was never enough political will on behalf of any of the actors to bring about closure of the OHR.

This paper presents an overview of the different opinions that have been blocking this closure. In addition, it argues that Bosnia’s political structures have no genuine wish for the OHR to hand over ownership of the processes in the country, so they are creating crises to prevent the closure of the OHR. Finally, the paper examines the EU’s role in these processes, and the implications of the inability of the EU27 to reach consensus on Bosnia.

This paper in Bosnian.

Goran Tirak is an analyst at Bosnian think tank Populari, and a visiting Research Fellow at CEPS.