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Bosnia And Herzegovina

CrisisWatch Bosnia And Herzegovina

Unchanged Situation

Concerns over secession continued as Republika Srpska (RS) moved to establish independent judicial body. Republika Srpska’s parliament 1 Feb adopted resolution to reverse Bosnian Serb representatives’ boycott of federal institutions imposed in July 2021, yet required representatives to follow RS policy. In further provocative measure and challenge to state’s central authority, Republika Srpska assembly 10 Feb approved draft law to establish entity’s own High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council to oversee appointment of judges and prosecutors; draft bill will undergo period of public consultation. Move immediately triggered international condemnation. Peace Implementation Council, international body established to oversee implementation of 1995 Dayton Peace Accord, 10 Feb said such law would create “unconstitutional body, jeopardizing fundamental legal rights of all Bosnia-Herzegovina citizens”. U.S. embassy in Sarajevo same day said move would “allow criminals to prosper and corruption to flourish”. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell 11 Feb urged Bosnia and Herzegovina’s three main leaders to resume “serious and meaningful dialogue” and 20 Feb warned “situation in Bosnia is more worrying than ever”. Croatian National Parliament 19 Feb threatened to boycott Oct elections and start process of forming autonomous region unless electoral law is amended to strengthen Croat representation and comply with court rulings. EU’s peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina 24 Feb added 500 troops as a “precautionary measure” citing risks of spreading “instability to Bosnia and Herzegovina” amid threats to European security (see Ukraine).
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Reports & Briefings

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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.