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Bosnia And Herzegovina

CrisisWatch Bosnia And Herzegovina

Unchanged Situation

German govt promised military reinforcements for EU mission to support country’s stability, while tensions over bid for EU candidacy status flared. In first troop contribution in ten years to Operation Althea (EU-led military mission overseeing 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement), German govt 15 June approved deployment of up to 50 soldiers to join operation amid concerns over country’s stability; deployment, which awaits parliamentary approval, would last until 30 June 2023. Following European Commission’s decision 17 June to back Ukraine and Moldova for EU candidate status, Slovenia 20 June said it would seek same offer for Bosnia during EU leaders summit 23-24 June in Belgian capital Brussels to “reaffirm the EU’s commitment to the Western Balkans”; statement followed comments made by Croatian President Milanović during Prespa Dialogue Forum in North Macedonia 16-18 June that “constant postponement is destroying that country”. Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik 22 June threatened to pull out of agreement made 12 June between top Bosnian politicians to work together toward EU membership if country did not receive candidate status. EU leaders, however, did not grant candidate status and said country must first implement commitments set out in agreement and finalise constitutional and electoral reform; Dodik 24 June accused some EU leaders of seeing “Bosnia and Herzegovina as a colony”.

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Event Recording / Global

EU Watch List: 10 Cases Where the EU can Build Peace in 2022 (Online Event, 28th January 2022)

Crisis Group’s Watch List identifies ten countries or regions at risk of deadly conflict or escalation thereof in 2022. In these places, early action, driven or supported by the EU and its member states, could enhance prospects for peace and stability.

The Western Balkans: Fragile Majorities

Political instability keeps growing in the Western Balkans amid geopolitical contests and increased tensions with Russia. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – First Update early-warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to engage intensively to ensure the political space for avoiding more serious crisis does nto entirely vanish in the Western Balkans.

New Balkan Turbulence Challenges Europe

The Balkans was best known for minority problems. Today, the most bitter conflicts are between parties that appeal to majority ethnic communities. As recent turbulence in Macedonia shows, Eastern Europe could face new dangers if majority populism ends the current stigma against separatism for oppressed small groups.

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.