Fifteen years after a brutal war, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) still must ensure political stability, foster a national identity, and create a single economic space. BiH struggles to perform basic governmental functions and has not transitioned to full sovereignty given the remaining outstanding conditions needed for closure of the Office of the High Representative (OHR). OHR is an ad hoc international institution created by the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA) and responsible for overseeing the implementation of civilian aspects of the DPA which ended the war in BiH. While OHR prepares to close, the European Union (EU) has pledged to increase its commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The EU has recently confirmed this commitment with appointment of a European Union Special Representative (EUSR). The EU Delegation will take on the fundamental duties for steering the country toward EU membership once OHR closes. BiH remains deeply divided along ethnic lines. Divisive ethno-nationalist rhetoric exists at almost every political level, in the popular media, in the education system, and in more subtle aspects of social life. These divisions inflame distrust and impede progress in virtually every socio-political and economic area. According to Freedom House‘s Nations in Transit 2010, BiH citizens continue to show deep distrust in politicians, and trust in public institutions continues to deteriorate.
Last updated: July 22, 2013