Bosnia’s Gordian Knot: Constitutional Reform

TitleBosnia’s Gordian Knot: Constitutional Reform
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitleInternational Crisis Group Europe Briefing N°68
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsN.N.
Number of Pages20
PublisherInternational Crisis Group
CityBrussels
Abstract

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.  Download

URLhttp://www.crisisgroup.org/en.aspx
Full Text