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BiH Gordijev čvor: Ustavna reforma

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I. Pregled

Sistem vlasti u Bosni i Hercegovini je dosegao prelomnu tačku, i put ove zemlje prema članstvu u Evropskoj uniji je blokiran. Ustav diktira da pozicije u dvije ključne institucije, tročlanom predsjedništvu i parlamentarnom Domu naroda, budu jednako podijeljene između Bošnjaka, Hrvata i Srba. Evropski sud za ljudska prava je 2009. godine donio odluku da to krši Evropsku konvenciju o ljudskim pravima onemogućavajući ostalima pristup tim pozicijama. Odluka evropskog suda je ogolila stare kontradikcije duboko zakopane u strukturi BiH Ustava, koje su postale još akutnije od kolapsa vladajuće koalicije 31. maja 2012. BiH političari trebaju reformisati svoj ustav no ponovno otvaranje Dejtonskog sporazuma zahtijeva više od brze popravke. Evropska unija ne bi trebala odluku Evropskog suda za ljudska prava u slučaju Sejdić-Finci, kojom se odbacuje tripartitni etnički monopol, učiniti preduvjetom za kredibilnu aplikaciju za članstvo ako već traži temeljitu reformu koja bi zemlju stavila na čvrste osnove.

Neuspjeh BiH da implementira istorijsku odluku Evroskog suda u slučaju Sejdić-Finci zbunjuje posmatrače. Diskriminacija manjina kao što su Jevreji i Romi je neprihvatljiva. Ipak, više od dvije i po godine kasnije, uprkos jakom međunarodnom pritisku i udruženim pokušajima da se dođe do rješenja u proljeće 2012. BiH lideri nisu postigli napredak u njenom izvršenju. Čak se i oni posmatrači koji imaju razumijevanja za BiH, pitaju zašto se zemlja uporno drži svog “rasističkog” ustava. Savjet Evrope upozorava da niti oni niti Evropska unija neće smatrati parlamentarne izbore 2014. legitimnim bez neophodnih ustavnih amandmana.

Ipak ništa u vezi sa slučajem Sejdić-Finci nije onako kako izgleda. Implementacija te presude neće neminovno dovesti do poboljšanja položaja manjina, čija je marginalizacija više posljedica političke kulture nego neadekvatnih ustavnih odredaba. Spor nije oko diskriminacije za koju se sve BiH političke stranke slažu da se mora eliminisati, već oko toga da li, i kako, očuvati prava konstitutivnih naroda BiH, posebno prava Hrvata koji su najmanja grupa. Njihova pozicija će vjerovatno dobiti dodatnu podršku kada se Hrvatska pridruži EZ 2013.

Iako je slučaj sa Evropskog suda za ljudska prava tehničke prirode, on otvara fundamentalna pitanja o strukturi BiH Ustava. To je otvorilo i opasna i važna pitanja zakopana još od kraja rata 1995. Sudija Giovanni Bonello je u samoj presudi izrazio oštro neslaganje osuđujući odluku suda i upozoravajući na opasnosti dovođenja u pitanje status quo-a. Lokalni lideri također upozoravaju na isto. BiH pati od neriješenih pitanja sličnih onima koja su dovela do raspada Jugoslavije, a neki nabrzinu sklepani set amandmana bi mogao dodatno otežati održavanje cjelovitosti ove zemlje. Istovremeno, dalje odlaganje u implementaciji odluke suda znači dalje odlaganje napretka prema EZ, što je jedan od rijetkih ciljeva oko kojih se u BiH svi slažu.

Tenzija između dva aspekta BiH federalizma – podjela na dva teritorijalna entiteta (Federacija Bosne i Hercegovine i Republika Srpska) i tri etničke zajednice koje su poznate kao konstitutivni narodi (Bošnjaci, Srbi i Hrvati) – raste već deset godina. To više nije održivo. Kako je Krizna grupa opisala u svojim izvještajima u zadnje dvije godine, državne institucije su pod napadom, a u Federaciji i Republici Srpskoj traje kriza vlasti. Institucije na svim nivoima su veoma neefikasne a političari ignorišu teške političke izbore i naizgled su imuni na domaće i međunarodne pritiske.

Bilo je potrebno četrnaest mjeseci da se formira državna vlada nakon izbora u oktobru 2010.; ova krhka koalicija se raspala nakon manje od šest mjeseci, 31. maja 2012. Nova konstelacija partija pokušava da uspostavi kontrolu, ali njihovi bivši partneri u državnoj i federalnoj vladi se čvrsto drže svojih pozicija pa je budućnost neizvjesna. Ono malo pažnje koju su političari pridali implementaciji odluke Suda za ljudska prava se fokusiralo na opcije koje bi cementirale već ionako golemu vlast koju imaju partijski lideri. U BiH vlada i političari ne samo da su nesposobni da riješe probleme; oni su sami postali jedan od ključnih problema.

Popularna je pretpostavka među BiH prijateljima u Evropi da bi implementacija odluke evropskog suda i promjene ustava uspjele donekle popraviti vlast. Ali brza rješenja ne postoje. Ovo bi značilo ponovno otvaranje Dejtonskog mirovnog sporazuma kojim je završen rat 1992.-1995., rebalansiranje kompromisa koji su napravljeni u tom sporazumu i poduzimanje obimne ustavne reforme. Iako ponovno izbijanje nasilja i dalje ostaje malo vjerovatno, ova pitanja su visoko emotivna pa postoji veliki rizik od produžavanja političke paralize što bi vodilo ka raspadu države. Lideri BiH misle da EZ zahtijeva samo tehnička rješenja, pa čak i ako bi to učinilo upravljanje zemljom još težim. Na kraju, odluke koju BiH lideri donesu će odlučiti o tome da li će BiH preživjeti da bi se primakla bliže Evropi ili će započeti proces dezintegracije koji se neće mirno završiti. Da bi se ova mračna predviđanja izbjegla:

  • BiH politički lideri bi se trebale refokusirati na ustavne reforme, uključujući izvršenje odluke Suda za ljudska prava. Trebali bi usvojiti mjere koje: pojašnjavaju koji su zvaničnici odabrani od strane kojih glasača i kome su imenovani odgovorni; dopustiti glasačima a ne zvaničnicima na srednjem nivou da biraju nacionalne lidere; dati Hrvatima efikasne načine utjecaja na državnu politiku; obezbjediti pravo glasa i onima koji se identifikuju kao građani a ne kroz etnične grupe; i izbjeći pretjerano komplikovana pravila koja dovode do opstrukcija.
     
  • Države EZ bi trebale otkloniti uvjetovanje BiH kandidature implementacijom sudske odluke. Sveobuhvatna reforma Ustava bi trebala biti krajnji cilj pregovora o članstvu, a ne njen preduvjet.

Ova analiza istražuje izazove kojima su izlažoni ustavni okvir BiH, njegove ključne institucije i koncept konstitutivnih naroda kroz slučaj Sejdić-Finci. Ovo je prvi od dva dijela izvještaja. Krizna grupa planira elaborirati opcije za ustavnu reformu, od minimalističkih do maksimalističkih u drugom dijelu izvještaja koji bi bio objavljen početkom 2013. godine.

Sarajevo/Istambul/Brisel, 12. juli 2012

Report 232 / Europe & Central Asia

Bosnia’s Future

While the physical scars of the 1992-1995 Bosnia war have healed, political agony and ethnic tension persist. Real peace requires a new constitution and bottom-up political change.

Executive Summary

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH, or Bosnia) poses little risk of deadly conflict, but after billions of dollars in foreign aid and intrusive international administration and despite a supportive European neighbourhood, it is slowly spiralling toward disintegration. Its three communities’ conflicting goals and interests are a permanent source of crisis, exacerbated by a constitution that meets no group’s needs. The political elite enjoys mastery over all government levels and much of the economy, with no practical way for voters to dislodge it. The European Union (EU) imposes tasks BiH cannot fulfil. A countrywide popular uprising torched government buildings and demanded urgent reforms in February 2014, but possible solutions are not politically feasible; those that might be politically feasible seem unlikely to work. Bosnia’s leaders, with international support, must begin an urgent search for a new constitutional foundation.

The international project to rebuild Bosnia has had success: war’s physical scars are largely gone, and the country is peaceful. The political agonies, however, show the intervention’s limits. Years of well-intentioned reforms, imposed or urged, have left a governing structure leaders circumvent, ignore or despise. May’s floods left scores dead and thousands homeless, exposing the price of poor governance. With growing frequency, Bosnians ask the questions that preceded the 1992-1995 war: shall it be one country, two, or even three; if one country, shall it have one, two or three constituent entities, and how shall it be governed?

The heart of the problem is in Annex 4 to the Dayton Peace Agreement, known as the constitution (and in several changes imposed by courts and international officials). It defines BiH as a state of two entities, in effect but not explicitly federal, but also the state of three constituent peoples (Bosniaks, Croats, Serbs), and yet, simultaneously, of all citizens. A suffocating layer of ethnic quotas has been added, providing sinecures for officials increasingly remote from the communities they represent. The tensions created by constitutional schizophrenia are pushing BiH to the breaking point. A new design is needed: a normal federation, territorially defined, without a special role for constituent peoples, but responsive to the interests of its three communities and the rights of all citizens.

The state administration’s need to reform is made acute by a 2009 decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) that in effect requires BiH to change the ethnicity-based way it chooses its chief executive and part of its legislature. Existing proposals try to squeeze the constituent peoples into an ostensibly ethnicity-blind structure on top of which a complicated network of indirect elections would allow party leaders to choose the executive with as little democratic input as possible. The EU and the outside world support this tinkering with Dayton to satisfy the decision, though such proposals have manifestly failed. Bosnians need to rebuild their political structure from the bottom up.

There is no consensus on where to start, but Bosnia may have to break from its political system based on constituent peoples and their rights. Crisis Group has not reached this conclusion lightly. It reflects long experience and observation that no one has been able to frame a broadly attractive vision on the existing flawed basis. With stresses and frustrations accumulating in all communities, Bosnia must conceive new foundations to survive. Agreement may take years and much experimentation and debate, but the search should begin.

BiH is home to three political communities: those primarily loyal to the Bosnian state, usually but not always Bosniaks; those loyal to Republika Srpska (RS), usually Serbs; and those desirous of Croat self-government, usually Croats. Giving the Croats what they want, their own entity to make a three-entity Bosnia, is absolutely rejected by Bosniaks. Building virtual representative units for the three communities, possibly with new emphasis on municipalities as basic building blocks, is intellectually plausible but requires a leap of faith few seem ready to take. A purely civic state is inconceivable to Serbs and Croats.

Neither leaders nor civil society have deeply explored alternatives to three constituent peoples in two entities; any consensus would take time. Nevertheless, the goal should be clear. The head of state should reflect Bosnia’s diversity, something a collective does better than an individual. The same body could be the executive government. Some decisions should require consensus, others a majority. All three communities should be represented, not necessarily in equal numbers. There should be no ethnic quotas; representation should reflect self-defined regions and all their voters. Poorly performing, unnecessary state agencies and ministries should be slimmed or abolished, with powers reverting to the entities; but the state would need new ministries and agencies required for EU membership. The ten cantons in the larger of BiH’s two entities, the Federation (FBiH), are an underperforming, superfluous layer. They could be abolished, their powers divided between the municipalities and the entity government.

Political culture is part of the problem; an informal “Sextet” of party leaders in effect controls government and much of the economy. A multi-ethnic coalition persists, election to election, with only minor adjustments. Membership is earned by winning opaque intra-party competitions in which voters have little say. Change in this system can only come from within: Bosnians should join parties and participate in genuine leadership contests. Sextet power is further buttressed by control of hiring, investment and commercial decisions at state-owned firms, a situation that chokes private investment and growth.

Bosnia is unimaginable without the work of international officials who did much to shape political institutions and implement peace, but the international community has become more obstacle than help. BiH is trapped in a cycle of poorly thought-out, internationally-imposed tasks designed to show leaders’ readiness to take responsibility but that put that moment forever out of reach. The only way to encourage leaders to take responsibility is to treat the country normally, without extraneous tests or High Representatives. The EU could signal a new start by stating it will receive a membership application – the first of many steps on the long accession road. It should then be an engaged, not over-didactic partner in Bosnia’s search for a way to disentangle the constitutional knot.