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Will the shift in EU and global tectonics spell the end of EUFOR?
14 October 2016 by Democratization Policy Council The UK has been chief exponent of maintaining EUFOR's Chapter 7 enforcement mandate, which is up for renewal in the EU on Tuesday and the UN Security Council next month. What do Brexit and inflamed frictions with Moscow portend for EUFOR? DPC assesses and proposes action to secure this crucial insurance for BiH peace.
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BiH Security Situation on Eve of RS Referendum - Long-ignored Warnings
23 September 2016 by Democratization Policy Council The referendum to be held on Sunday 25 September in Republika Srpska has further polarized an already tense environment. All the ingredients for rapid deterioration of the security situation have long been in place. DPC reviews them in its latest blog.
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RS Referendum Marred by Lack of Legal and Procedural Clarity
22 September 2016 by Democratization Policy Council The referendum scheduled for Sunday, September 25 in the Republika Srpska constitutes an attack on the BiH constitutional order, generating polarization and fear.  But even in its own terms, the vote raises serious procedural and legal questions.
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Bled Strategic Forum 2016
15 September 2016 by Valery Perry DPC Senior Associate Valery Perry shares her reflections on the Bled Strategic Forum 2016, "Safeguarding the Future"
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Some Census Findings that Caught my Eye
06 July 2016 by Valery Perry ( BHS verzija - BCS version )
DPC Senior Associate Valery Perry provides initial reflections on the results of the BiH census, focussing on some unexpected findings
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"What we have here is failure to communicate..." Why my prescriptions on BiH are frequently misunderstood
14 June 2016 by Kurt Bassuener DPC Senior Associate Kurt Bassuener attempts to set the record straight on what he and DPC have actually called on the West to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina - and why that frequently is misheard
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BiH's Application for EU Membership - The Question of European Interests
02 May 2016 by Soeren Keil Dr. Soeren Keil of Canterbury Christ Church University reflects on how the EU's approach toward BiH's application reflects a short-term view of European interests, and a demotion of values.
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A Modest Proposal – Get this Census Finished
26 March 2016 by Valery Perry ( BHS verzija - BCS version )
DPC Senior Associate Valery Perry offers a simple solution to the long census deadlock.
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The EU-Turkey refugee deal: neither European, nor a solution
17 March 2016 by By Bodo Weber Before German Chancellor Angela Merkel went to Brussels today (March 17) for an EU summit, she gave a state of the nation address at the Bundestag that focused on negotiations between the EU and Turkey over a refugee deal...
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Filling Bosnia’s reform gaps 2
02 March 2016 by Kurt Bassuener DPC Senior Associate Kurt Bassuener engaged in a detailed exchange with Johns Hopkins SAIS' Daniel Serwer about the lack of reform in BiH - and what can be done about it - on his blog The post, with a link to Serwer's original post and USAID's "gap analysis".
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Discussing Bosnia and Herzegovina Application for EU Membership
17 February 2016 by Kurt Bassuener DPC Senior Associate Kurt Bassuener engaged in an online exchange with MEP Tanja Fajon on BiH's recent application for EU membership at
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DPC reflections on Germia Hill 2016
15 February 2016 by Kurt Bassuener, Valery Perry, Bodo Weber The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo recently hosted the 4th annual Germia Hill conference, entitled, "South East European Security in the Light of Wider Regional Challenges,” in Prishtina, from 2-3 February, which we attended.
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The EU and 'feudaralism' in Bosnia and Herzegovina
16 February 2016 by Toby Vogel Dragan Čović, the current chairman of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, had good news to report last week. "In the future, BiH will communicate with one voice with the European Union,”.
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The Application Shakedown
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.
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Political Malpractice
24 January 2016 by Valery Perry

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.

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The year the West lost its strategic direction
05 January 2016 by Bodo Weber 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.
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Virtual Electoral Units = Virtual Accountability
19 December 2015 by Valery Perry (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.
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Highlights and Lowlights: Take your PIC
05 December 2015 by Valery Perry

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:

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About that "progress" you mentioned...
14 November 2015 by Kurt Bassuener 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.
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Mad Men: Blurring Advertising and Policy Lines
13 October 2015 by DPC DPC questions the journal Foreign Policy's decision to hold a BiH policy roundtable with RS officials, but without state or Federation representation.
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Thoughts from a Conference on Violent Extremism
06 October 2015 by Valery Perry
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...
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Lessons Learned?
02 October 2015 by Kurt Bassuener

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.

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Maybe size doesn't matter - thinking about censuses in India and BiH
08 September 2015 by Valery Perry ( 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.

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The Association of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo: it’s neither a Republika Srpska nor an NGO, but rather a classic Brussels compromise
01 September 2015

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.

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The RS: Form or Function?
24 August 2015 by Valery Perry ( 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.
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The Staggering Chutzpah of Ending Staggered Election Cycles
27 July 2015 by Valery Perry ( 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
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Return of the Structured Monologue
14 July 2015 by Valery Perry 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?
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What Chancellor Merkel Should Tell Bosnia's Politicians and People
07 July 2015 by Kurt Bassuener 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?

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To count or not to count? That is the question
29 June 2015 by Valery Perry 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.

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Low Hanging Fruit - Towards a Compact for Agricultural Growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 June 2015 by Valery Perry 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.

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Thoughts on Corruption in FIFA and BiH: Structures and Incentives Matter
08 June 2015 by Valery Perry "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."

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Open Letter to New Head of EUD to BiH/EUSR in BiH Lars-Gunnar Wigemark
22 April 2015 by Democratization Policy Council (DPC)

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.

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Why Not a EU Army?
30 March 2015 by Toby Vogel and Kurt Bassuener

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

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How will the BiH census results be used?
19 December 2014 by Valery Perry for DPC In a recent piece published by the SETimes("Experts: BiH Census Key to Ease Tension, Violence”, 5 December 2014, available at, 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...
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May’s presidential elections in Ukraine – the same old faces
25 April 2014 by Iryna Chupryna 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.
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DPC Senior Associate Bodo Weber’s reply to Gerald Knaus, ESI
14 March 2014 by Bodo Weber, Berlin 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”
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How Bosnia’s Protest Movement Can Become Truly Transformative
23 February 2014 by Kurt Bassuener, Sarajevo 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.
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Sideshow Štefan and Mendacious Seven
17 February 2014 by Kurt Bassuener, Sarajevo 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.
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Battle for Ukraine
30 January 2014 by DPC Senior Associate Iryna Chupryna in Kyiv, 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.
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Revolution of Despair
26 January 2014 by DPC Senior Associate Iryna Chupryna in Kyiv, Ukraine 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.
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DPC Senior Associate Iryna Chupryna in Kyiv, Ukraine:
09 December 2013 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.
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