Dear friends and colleagues of DPC,
DPC Policy Paper
By Bodo Weber
DPC analyzes how EU and US policies have constantly traded democracy and the rule of law for concentration on the status dispute over the last few years. The author shows how short-sighted, tactical considerations have contributed to throwing Kosovo back into political crisis less than a year after the West has supported the formation of a grant coalition government under highly questionable circumstances.
09 February 2016
By Kurt Bassuener
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU membership application, which it plans to submit on 15 February, is by any objective measure premature and likely to suffer a humiliating rejection by EU member states. In an effort to avoid that scenario, it is now being sold by Presidency member Mladen Ivanić as a necessary measure to preserve stability.
DPC Advance Preview of the 2015 EC Progress Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina20 October 2015 • full article
Senior Associate Toby Vogel interview in Tanjug on Serbia's early parliamentary elections19 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 Balkans01 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.
DPC Senior Associate Bodo Weber interview in daily Danas on upcoming Merkel visit08 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.
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
The citizens of Sarajevo have been marinating in information about the latest outrage to hit the city: the double whammy of the appointment of Bakir Izetbegović’s wife to the position of Director of the University Clinical Center Koševo, and the near simultaneous announcement of plans to close down the city’s other hospital.The year the West lost its strategic direction by Bodo Weber
2015 was perhaps the most intensive political year in the short history of the Kosovo state, both from the standpoint of Western Kosovo policy and from an internal political perspective. Virtual Electoral Units = Virtual Accountability (BHS verzija - BCS version)
The past year, capped by the recent meeting of the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board, has clearly demonstrated that the primary priority of the European Union (and the broader international community in its wake) is the implementation of the so-called Reform Agenda. Highlights and Lowlights: Take your PIC
This week’s meeting of the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board (PIC SB) and its subsequent communiqué brought few surprises. Here’s a quick review: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?
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.
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.
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 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
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
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.