BiH Gordijev čvor: Ustavna reforma
BiH Gordijev čvor: Ustavna reforma
Table of Contents
  1. Overview
Changing Dynamics in the Western Balkans
Changing Dynamics in the Western Balkans

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

I. Overview

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s system of government has reached breaking point and the country’s path to European Union (EU) membership is blocked. The constitution requires that the posts in two key institutions, the three-member presidency and the parliamentary House of Peoples, be equally divided among Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs. The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled in 2009 this violates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by restricting others’ access. The European court’s ruling has exposed long-buried contradictions in Bosnia’s constitutional architecture, which have become more acute since the 31 May 2012 collapse of the government coalition. Bosnian politicians need to reform their constitution but reopening the Dayton Agreement will require more than a quick fix. The EU should not make implementing the ECtHR decision a prerequisite for a credible membership application if it seeks thorough comprehensive reform to put the country on a firm footing.

Bosnia’s failure to implement the ECtHR’s landmark judgment on the Sejdić-Finci case baffles observers. Discrimination against minorities such as Jews and Roma is repugnant. Yet more than two and a half years later, despite strong international pressure and a concerted push to find a solution in spring 2012, Bosnian leaders have made no progress in executing it. Even sympathetic observers wonder why the country persists in its “racist” constitution. The Council of Europe warns that neither it nor the EU would consider the 2014 elections for Bosnia’s parliament legitimate without the necessary constitutional amendments.

Yet almost nothing about the Sejdić-Finci case is as it seems. Implementing the judgment will not necessarily improve the situation of minorities, whose marginalisation is due more to political culture than to the impugned constitutional provisions. The dispute is not driven by discrimination which all BiH parties agree must be eliminated. It is about whether, and how, to preserve the rights of Bosnia’s constituent peoples, especially those of the Croats who are the smallest group. Their position is likely to get a new boost when Croatia joins the EU in 2013.

Though the ECtHR case is technical, it raises fundamental questions about Bosnia’s constitutional architecture and has opened dangerous and important issues buried since the end of the war in 1995. In a stinging dissent, Judge Giovanni Bonello condemned the court’s judgment and warned of the dangers of challenging the status quo. Local leaders echo the warning. Bosnia suffers from unresolved issues similar to those which sparked Yugoslavia’s collapse, and a botched set of amendments could make keeping the country together much harder. At the same time, more delay in implementing the court’s judgment means more delay in progress toward the EU, one of the only points on which all Bosnia’s constituencies agree.

Tension between the two aspects of Bosnian federalism – the division into two territorial entities (the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska), and three ethnic communities known as constituent peoples (the Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats) – has been growing for a decade. It is no longer sustainable. As Crisis Group described in its reports over the past two years, state institutions are under attack and there is a crisis of governance in the federation and the Republika Srpska. Institutions at all levels are highly inefficient and politicians ignore difficult policy choices and seem immune to domestic or international pressure.

It took fourteen months to form a state government after the October 2010 elections; this fragile coalition broke down less than six months later, on 31 May 2012. A new constellation of parties is trying to assert control, but its former partners in state and federal government are holding on to their positions and the prospects are unclear. What attention they have given to implementing the ECtHR decision has focused on a solution that cements party leaders’ already extensive hold on power. In Bosnia the government and its politicians are not only unable to resolve the problems; they have become a key problem themselves.

There is a popular assumption among Bosnia’s European friends that implementing the European court’s decision and changing its constitution will go some way in improving governance. But there are no quick fixes. It will mean reopening the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the 1992-1995 war, re-balancing the compromises made in that agreement, and embarking on a comprehensive constitutional reform. Though a return to violence remains unlikely, these issues are highly emotional and risk extending political paralysis and leading to state failure. Bosnia’s leaders believe the EU requires only a technical fix, even if it leaves the country even less governable. Ultimately, the decisions taken will decide whether Bosnia survives to move toward Europe or begins a process of disintegration that will not end peacefully. To avoid this grim prospect:

  • Bosnia’s political leadership should refocus on constitutional reform, including the execution of the European court’s decision. It should adopt measures that: clarify whether and how elected and appointed officials are responsible to specific groups, all citizens, or those who voted them into office; allow voters rather than mid-level officials to choose national leaders; give Croats an effective means of influencing state policy; provide room for those who identify as citizens rather than in ethnic terms to have a voice; and avoid overly complex rules prone to obstruction.
     
  • EU states should lift their conditioning of Bosnia’s candidacy on implementation of the court ruling. Comprehensive constitutional reform should be the end goal of membership talks, not its precondition.

This briefing explores the challenge posed to Bosnia’s constitutional framework, its key institutions and the constituent people concept by the Sejdić-Finci case. It is the first in a two-part series as Crisis Group plans to elaborate on the options for constitutional reform, from minimalist to maximalist, in a report to be published early in 2013.

Sarajevo/Istanbul/Brussels, 12 July 2012

Changing Dynamics in the Western Balkans

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker talks to Crisis Group expert Marko Prelec about the precarious situation in the Western Balkans, as Serb separatism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the frozen Kosovo-Serbia dispute continue to stoke regional instability.

The Western Balkans, a region defined in part by not being in the European Union, also contains several countries that were devastated by war in the 1990s. Now it faces new troubles, driven in part by the legacies of the old. Bosnia and Herzegovina is confronted with calls for secession in the autonomous Serb-dominated region, Republika Srpska, as well as the ongoing electoral grievances of its Croat minority. Meanwhile, efforts to resolve Kosovo’s dispute with Serbia over its independence have come to a standstill, leaving minority communities on both sides of the border vulnerable.

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker talks to Marko Prelec, Crisis Group’s Consulting Senior Analyst for the Balkans, about why ethnic tensions persist in the region and whether there is any risk of a return to conflict. They discuss the prospects for European integration, asking whether the promise of EU membership remains an effective incentive for resolving these longstanding disputes. They also consider what impact Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had for stability in the Western Balkans, a region where painful memories of war are still very salient today.



Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more of Crisis Group’s analysis, make sure to check out our Balkans regional page and keep an eye out for our upcoming report on the risk of instability in the Western Balkans.

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