DPC News

DPC Advance Preview of the 2015 EC Progress Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina

20 October 2015 full article

Senior Associate Toby Vogel interview in Tanjug on Serbia's early parliamentary elections

19 October 2015 In his interview in Tanjug, DPC Senior Associate and co-founder Toby Vogel states that early elections could strengthen Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic's mandate for the painful reforms required to accelerate the path to EU membership. He cautions these include not only considerable economic restructuring, but also development of normalized relations with Kosovo. full article

Events, Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans

01 October 2015 DPC Senior Associate Valery Perry participated in the PfP Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes' conference on Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans, hosted by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy on September 28-29.
full article

DPC Senior Associate Bodo Weber interview in daily Danas on upcoming Merkel visit

08 July 2015

On Monday, July 6, 2015 the Belgrade daily Danas published a long interview with Senior Associate Bodo Weber. Weber commented on the upcoming trip by German Chancelor Angela Merkel to Albania, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and various regional political challenges.

full article

DPC co-founder Kurt Bassuener asks "why the international rush on government formation?"

06 November 2014 International officials have been calling for BiH political parties to rapidly form governments and commit to reforms.  Kurt Bassuener questions this approach in a November 4 article published by Balkan Insight. full article

Latest Blog post

About that "progress" you mentioned... Senior Associate Kurt Bassuener reflects on the EC's Report on BiH - and the disconnect among the fanfare around the Report, the document itself, and the ground reality. Mad Men: Blurring Advertising and Policy Lines DPC questions the journal Foreign Policy's decision to hold a BiH policy roundtable with RS officials, but without state or Federation representation. Thoughts from a Conference on Violent Extremism
Senior Associate Valery Perry attended a conference on violent extremism in the Western Balkans last week. What wasn't discussed was at least as interesting as what was...
Lessons Learned?

Dear Reader,
Six weeks ahead of the Republika Srpska's scheduled referendum on the constitutionality of the entire state judiciary – which previous RS governments co-created by inter-entity agreements and approval in the Parliament (including with RS President Milorad Dodik's party support), it is worth a look back at how we got here.

Maybe size doesn't matter - thinking about censuses in India and BiH ( BHS verzija - BCS version )
In Valery Perry's latest blog post, she writes of the parallels between the political treatment of the census in India and that in BiH.

The Association of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo: it’s neither a Republika Srpska nor an NGO, but rather a classic Brussels compromise

On August 25, at a meeting of the so-called high-level political dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, the European Union's High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, "facilitated" a set of four agreements that frees up the way towards full implementation of the April 2013 agreement on normalization of relations between the two countries and unblocks the opening of the first chapters in Serbia's negotiation process to enter the EU.

The RS: Form or Function? ( BHS verzija - BCS version )

DPC Senior Associate Valery Perry's latest blog post takes a look at the latest international efforts to assuage the RS government's alleged concerns about that entity's shelf-life. She questions the depth and breadth of popular concern in the RS on this supposed threat, as well as EU unwillingness to actively confront the the RS leadership on its home turf for its lack of accountability and responsiveness to popular concerns.
The Staggering Chutzpah of Ending Staggered Election Cycles ( BHS verzija - BCS version )
In her latest DPC Blog post, Senior Associate Valery Perry explains why the idea of merging BiH's general and municipal electoral cycles - repeatedly mooted in both the international community and by BiH politicians alike, most recently Dragan Covic - is a bad idea
Return of the Structured Monologue In the latest DPC blog post, Senior Associate Valery Perry explains the consequences of the most recent RS referendum threat, noting polling data that confirms that RS citizens want reform, are tired of status quo corruption, and are not easily fooled by this well-worn distraction technique. However, will it fool the international actors who are the real target? What Chancellor Merkel Should Tell Bosnia's Politicians and People With her visit to BiH on Thursday, July 9, Chancellor Merkel has an opportunity to change to EU's failing policy toward the country - and profoundly affect the internal dynamic. But will she assume the challenge of real leadership?

To count or not to count? That is the question The first post-war census in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) continues to cause controversy. Though the enumeration period was in October 2013 - 20 months ago - the official final data has not been released. DPC Senior Associate Valery Perry assesses the dispute over who should be counted and proposes solutions.

Low Hanging Fruit - Towards a Compact for Agricultural Growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina DPC Senior Associate Valery Perry makes the case for strong international - particularly EU - backing to local advocacy for a state agricultural policy, along with a Ministry to devise and oversee it. Such an effort would fit easily within the confines of the faltering EU initiative, which has yet to develop a popular constituency.

Thoughts on Corruption in FIFA and BiH: Structures and Incentives Matter "DPC Senior Associate Valery Perry blogs on the parallels between the lack of transparency and accountability which plague both FIFA and Bosnia and Herzegovina - with rational actors availing themselves of perverse incentives."

Open Letter to New Head of EUD to BiH/EUSR in BiH Lars-Gunnar Wigemark

22 April 2015 by DPC
In an open letter to Lars-Gunnar Wigemark the Democratization Policy Council offers a set of twelve top priorities for the new Head of EU Delegation to BiH/ EU Special Representative in BiH's first twelve months in office.

Why Not a EU Army?

Why Not an EU Army? – Instead of Dismissing Juncker’s Proposal, EU Members Should Develop It into a Useful Policy Tool

By Toby Vogel and Kurt Bassuener

How will the BiH census results be used? In a recent piece published by the SETimes("Experts: BiH Census Key to Ease Tension, Violence”, 5 December 2014, available at http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/features/2014/12/05/feature-01), a number of experts note their interest in seeing census results published as soon as possible. A spokesperson from the BiH Agency for Statistics notes a plan to gradually release the information, with final data being released as late as mid-2016... May’s presidential elections in Ukraine – the same old faces After the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych on February 22, 2014, which came as a result of the three-month revolution and violent clashes between protesters and police forces, Ukraine's Parliament scheduled early presidential elections for May 25, 2014. However, the future of these elections is uncertain.
DPC Senior Associate Bodo Weber’s reply to Gerald Knaus, ESI Last November DPC published the policy note Legal Misunderstandings, False normative Hopes and the Ignorance of Political Reality. A Commentary on the recent ESI Report "Lost in the Bosnian Labyrinth”
How Bosnia’s Protest Movement Can Become Truly Transformative Popular plenums continue to assemble and refine their demands and popular protests continue. I and other observers came away the most recent Sarajevo plenum on Friday night, February 21st, impressed by the organization, the management, and the general disposition of the wide range of citizens attending. Following a brief recapitulation of the rules for the plenum, representatives of other such plenums – Konjic, Fojnica, and Mostar – spoke and appealed for solidarity.
Sideshow Štefan and Mendacious Seven It’s hard to imagine how much more tone-deaf European Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle could be. A week and a half after protests which took place throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina against the BiH political elites across the board, especially concentrated in the Federation, he came to Sarajevo to .... again meet with those same discredited elites. It was farcical and self-abasing in its last (unsuccessful) iteration in January. It is even more disgraceful and silly now.
Battle for Ukraine
On January 28, the Ukrainian parliament revoked in an extraordinary session nine of the twelve repressive laws adopted on January 16. These severely restricted human rights and freedoms, including the right to free assembly. A new law invalidating the earlier adopted laws was supported by 361 deputies. Only the Communist Party was against.
Revolution of Despair Nothing like the ongoing violence in Kyiv’s streets has been seen in Ukraine’s 22 years of independence. People are clashing with the special police units, throwing Molotov cocktails and sometimes stones at them, while the police respond with stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets…. This all can now be seen just in the downtown Kiev, at Grushevskogo Street, in very close proximity to the government district.
DPC Senior Associate Iryna Chupryna in Kyiv, Ukraine: The new revolutionary Maidan on the central square of Kyiv looks like reincarnation of the Orange revolution nine years ago – the same place, almost the same time of year and the same determination of people stand until the end, until victory.

Recent Publications

Policy Note #5 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Nexus with Islamist Extremism Author(s): Vlado Azinović 16 November 2015
Policy Note #6 The Police Forces in BiH – Persistent Fragmentation and Increasing Politicization Author(s): Bodo Weber 16 November 2015
Progress Undone? Trading Democracy for Solving the Status Dispute in Kosovo Author(s): Bodo Weber 12 November 2015
Zhbërja e progresit? Këmbimi i demokracisë me zgjidhjen e mosmarrëveshjeve rreth statusit Author(s): Bodo Weber 12 November 2015
Stuck in Transition? Croatia’s Policy Toward Bosnia and Herzegovina Author(s): Bodo Weber and Kurt Bassuener 02 November 2015
DPC Advance Preview of the 2015 EC Progress Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina Our quick guide on what to expect—and what not to. Author(s): Patrick Dick 19 October 2015
Policy Note #3 -EUFOR: The West's Potemkin Deterrent in BIH Author(s): Kurt Bassuener 18 October 2015
Policy Note #4 -The Armed Forces of BIH: Unfullfilled Promises Author(s): Kurt Bassuener 13 October 2015
Policy Note #1 -Inflammatory political rhetoric and hate speech in Bosnia and Herzegovina: political elites and the media Author(s): Bodo Weber 28 September 2015
Policy Note #2 - Bosnia and Herzegovina after the February 2014 protests: is there a potential for renewed violent social unrest? Author(s): Bodo Weber 25 September 2015
Countering the Cultivation of Extremism in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Case for Comprehensive Education Reform Author(s): Valery Perry 21 September 2015
Analyzing the EC Serbia Progress Reports -Useful tool or tactical whitewash? Author(s): Bodo Weber/ Kurt Bassuener 24 June 2015
No Stability without Accountability - The West's Responsibility in Macedonia Author(s): Kurt Bassuener 01 June 2015
Making the Market on Constitutional Reform in BiH in the wake of the EU Initiative Author(s): Oscar Fernandez/ Valery Perry/ Kurt Bassuener 20 March 2015