The EU’s Failing Policy Initiative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Cover Image

The EU’s Failing Policy Initiative for Bosnia and Herzegovina
The EU’s Failing Policy Initiative for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Author(s): Bodo Weber
Contributor(s): Kirsty Campbell (Editor), Oskar Gustafson (Editor)
Subject(s): Economic policy, International relations/trade, EU-Accession / EU-DEvelopment
Published by: DPC Democratization Policy Council e.V.
Keywords: Bosnia and Hercegowina and EU; economic development; corruption;
Summary/Abstract: This Policy Paper is a Reform Agenda & Questionnaire Monitoring Report. The new EU BiH initiative did yield some initial successes in 2015 and 2016. BiH authorities agreed a ‘Reform Agenda 2015-18’ with the EU and International Financial Institutions (IFIs), a broad blueprint for socio-economic reform that, if fully implemented, could have broken the country’s patronage system. Some initial implementation of the Reform Agenda and the formal fulfillment of some additional EU conditions prompted the EU’s General Affairs Council in September 2016 to grant the final reward in EU integration envisioned in the initiative – a referral of BiH’s membership application to the European Commission for its Opinion on granting candidate status. In December 2016 the Commission took the next step and handed over its Questionnaire to BiH. More significantly, the International Monetary Fund signed a loan arrangement with BiH in September 2016 designed to support the Reform Agenda, based on exceptionally strict financial conditionality and prompting the governments in BiH to concede on some previously unimaginable reforms. However, these successes were short-lived, limited and superficial. From early 2017, it became evident that the initiative would be a failure when it formally concludes at the end of 2018. Throughout 2017, implementation on all fronts came to an almost complete standstill, although EU representatives and other international officials continue to pretend the initiative is still alive.

  • Page Count: 48
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Language: English